practice Tag

By Patrick Fritz Every teacher has his or her favorite method of helping students keep track of what they are supposed to practice every week.  The trick is finding something that works for the student, family, and the teacher.  My favorite tool is a weekly practice list. My early middle and early high school kids often receive a weekly practice sheet that I fill in for them. ...

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The purpose of a masterclass is to give students an opportunity to perform for and be critiqued by an esteemed artist. Performing for a master teacher is considered an honor and an educational opportunity. Observing a masterclass is a rare opportunity to see a great artist at work.

HistoryLiszt
The idea of a masterclass was first developed by Franz Liszt in the 19th century. Liszt was one of the most revered and sought after teachers of his generation. He is said to have more than 400 students; many of whom were famous such as Carl Tausig, Hans von Bülow and Emil von Sauer. At these early masterclasses, pianists as well as composers, violinists, cellists, singers, and even painters and poets would gather in Liszt’s home in Weimar to experience his teaching. A rather intimidating experience, it is said that students would enter the music room first and place their scores on the piano. Upon Liszt’s entrance, students would stand respectfully while Liszt went to the piano, leafed through the scores and chose the music to be performed.

By Patrick Fritz Almost all of my most successful motivational ideas are borrowed, stolen, or are a modified version of another teacher’s idea. “Listen Like a Maniac” is no exception. Michelle Horner and her daughter were practicing daily.  Together, they were carefully following the advice of her daughter’s violin teacher.  But even though Michelle is an accomplished guitar teacher, her daughter’s progress on the violin was slow...

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By Patrick Fritz   Our studio is offering a challenge to our students - “100 Days of Practice in a Row Challenge.”  This means practicing “in a meaningful way” for 100 uninterrupted days with no break.  The only allowable excuses for missing a day are illness, traveling outside of the country, or family emergency. I was inspired to try this idea by many other experienced teachers who challenge...

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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

In the November issue of Clavier’s Piano Explorer (a wonderful little magazine for piano students), there was an article on creating good practice habits. The challenge was for students to practice 100 days in a row. Students that completed the challenge get to have their names printed in a future issue of the magazine. To motivate my students to develop the habit of practicing every day, I adopted the 100-day challenge in my studio, offering prizes to those who complete the challenge. In addition, I decided to take the challenge as well!

Recently I completed the challenge along with a handful of students. Practicing every day became a habit that I made time for. Part of committing to the challenge meant that practice did indeed have to happen every day, no matter what – like brushing your teeth. For students that went on vacation and had no access to a piano, listening to a recording of their piece was an optional substitute for practice, but only if absolutely necessary.