Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Group Lessons and Practice Abacus

Everyone made their own Practice Abacus today at group lessons.  This is to help them get in the habit of practicing a song productively.  Just playing straight through a song 3-5 times a day is not a good way to make improvements.  More often than not the song comes back to the next lesson with the same errors they were making the week before.  I tell students over and over how to practice, but don't think it really is happening at home often, if at all.  This is how to use the abacus:  First string - play through the song once and watch for 3 areas that need extra attention.  2nd,3rd & 4th strings - play each of those "needy" areas 5 times each, working to improve it.  5th sting - play through the entire song 2 times trying to get the 3 areas you worked on to smoothly work into the rest of the song.  Do this with every song, every day.  If your student ever gets to where they automatically are practicing this way, then the abacus doesn't need to be used, a habit has been formed - until then, though, make sure they are using it!

The 4 sections of group lesson this time:
Part 1:  Recital

 Part 2:  Making their Practice Abacus

Part 3:  Playing Rhythm Cups
(They've been told to take their sheet home and teach it to their family!  It's fun :)  

Part 4:  Refreshments 
always the most popular part!

There is one more group lesson this school year, on Feb. 18th.  Just FYI, get it on your calendar :)


  1. I'm using your abacus idea at my group lesson this month. Such a great idea. What is the rhythm cup game? That looks fun too! Is that from composecreate? I did a google search, and that is what came up...