Your Saxophone Teacher Will Let You Know What to Practice?

“How will my child know what to practice each week?” Your Saxophone Teacher will let you know and they should.

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This is a great question to ask, as different teachers have various ways of assigning practice assignments. However, students can be proactive in managing their assignments, as well as their daily practice, with a few helpful hints.  Remember that consistent practice is the key to success in learning any instrument, and developing a way to easily organize goals and areas of focus can exponentially improve results.
Start by Setting a Goal
For each piece or exercise worked on during lessons, it’s a great idea for teachers to set goals with their students of when it could be completed, as well as tempo (speed) goals, and outlining what should be achieved as the end result.  This may sound complicated, but rest assured that the ‘deadline’ should not be set in stone, and other aspects of what should be achieved as the end result can easily be demonstrated by an instructor.  For example, saxophone teachers in home may assign a piece that they think will take approximately three weeks to complete.  With the student, they can detail small landmarks of achievement to keep him or her on track for each of the three weeks, and adjustments to the goal can be made as the piece is assessed in each lesson.
Write It Down!
The next—more obvious, but still noteworthy—aspect of keeping track of practice assignments is to write down what is discussed in terms of goals.  For younger students, or just for precision, the teacher may want to complete this step.  However, for older students, saxophone teachers in home may want the student to take these notes to build practice independence.  When assignments are written down, and not just communicated verbally, the student will have a reference they can use in every practice session throughout the week, because let’s face it—it can be difficult to independently remember everything discussed during a lesson.
Even further, any changes or technical/musical instructions should be noted either within the music on in a log, so that those changes can be practiced during the week.
The Notebook vs. Taking Notes on the Score
The preference of writing assignments down in a separate notebook or on the music itself is usually dictated by the teacher.  Both are effective and can even be intertwined by saxophone teachers in home.  Using a separate notebook is much neater than writing all instructions in the music itself, but writing notes and assignments on the music can be a more direct reminder, as the student will always be looking at the music when practicing and will inevitably see the comments every time the music is used.  If using both, technical instructions that pertain to an exact section, note, or phrase can be noted in the music itself, and these changes can be referenced in an external assignment log.
As for practice logs, these will usually be kept separate of the score itself.  Often times, teachers ask students to record how long they practice each day and what they worked on.  This can provide insight for the teacher regarding how constructive the student’s practice is, as well as assist in continuing to customize the lesson experience.
In Conclusion
Knowing what to practice from saxophone teachers in home is an important part of lessons, and really goes back to ensuring good communication between teachers, parents, and students.  After every lesson, a student should know what the goal is for the next week and how to achieve it.  Having assignments written down is the best way to do this, whether in the music or in a separate notebook.  Also, for students, letting your teacher know your general practice schedule and time spent working on a piece or exercise each week is very helpful in setting the pace of lessons—not to demand more practice.  So in conclusion, keep track of your work and goals in saxophone lessons by taking frequent notes, and lessons will become more fun, rewarding, and progressive.
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