Along my musical journey as a violinist, I met many other violinists who had similar moments to mine of feeling stagnant – not improving but at the same time, not getting worse. The routine begins to feel a little stale as I attend lessons each week and open my violin case to practice every day. Sometimes I want to practice but often I prefer to do other things and most times, I feel stuck. As a teacher providing violin lessons in Denver, I also find some of my students in the same rut but thankfully, there are ways to get out of this bind. The process may take some time but here are tips to try to improve practice.
Play A Favorite Song
With the expectations from violin teachers in Denver, students feel obligated to practice only certain pieces and exercises but playing something out of the ordinary can help with overall practice. I encourage my students to pick a song they really like, could be their favorite Disney song or Beyonce classic, look for some sheet music or play by ear what they know at the beginning of each practice session. They can play it for their own sheer enjoyment or even to relax. If the song or piece is above their playing level, they can just listen to the music before practice for their lessons or find one or two notes that go along with the recording and play those notes to the beat of the music.
Set New Goals
Instead of practicing solely for a recital, creating new challenges each week helps students take a different approach to their practice. For example, a student might decide to learn a new short piece in two weeks and play it for a family gathering or play through scales with eyes closed. The challenge can be as creative as the student would like and each day, something from the previous day of practice can be built on in preparation for the new goal.
Engage With Other Art Forms
Sometimes, inspiration is found in other areas besides music. Visiting an arts exhibit, dancing to a favorite tune, writing a poem, or drawing a picture can help students find what they love about arts in general and how their music making can fit into their interests. Music does not have to be in a box to itself, but I find it to be the most beautiful when it connects with other art forms.
Talk To Your Teacher
I see the most progress from my students when they open up about their practice concerns during their lessons. Once their questions are off their chest, I gain a better idea of how to help them. If they have difficulty inventing a challenge, I can assist them on making new goals. Students might feel like their teacher might not understand their struggle, but trust me, we know exactly where they are coming from. Lessons in Your Home intentionally hires engaging and resourceful teachers to help students as they practice and most importantly provides opportunity to grow their musical interests right in the comfort of where our students reside. They can either come to your home to teach or can also provide online music lessons. Our virtual music lessons are taught by local music teachers who plan their lessons to suit your child.
By Danya Wilson