We learn in layers. Always cycling back to the older pieces to build on them and bring them to higher musicality. This means, that after a few months as a suzuki family you have quite a few pieces to keep track of !!!! How do you keep it organized? How do you know which pieces to spend the most time with? Here is your answer with 3 practice charts.
I realize that this doesn’t include things like scales, etudes or monthly practice challenges we do at Westminster Suzuki Strings. However, it gets to the very core of what needs to happen for successful practice. Additional items vary widely from studio to studio but the following is universal in all suzuki studios.
I hope this helps you get organized!
- Suzuki Practice Pyramid. I created this chart so parents could understand what aspect of practice is most important. It’s modeled after the food pyramid. Like the food pyramid, the most important parts of your practice are lower on the pyramid. These are the items you’ll want to spend the most time on. You can print it out and fill it in as I have pictured below to create your weekly practice plan. Use pencil to make changes from week to week to save the trees. : ) Click here for a printable PDF
2. Rainbow Review Chart. The rainbow review chart helps you organize all of the pieces in to daily practice through one week. This way, you can review and listen to each piece of the book within one week. You won’t forget anything and you’ll spend just a few minutes each day rather than trying to cram 45 minutes worth of review and listening into one day! Use the chart to create daily playlists for your iphone or ipad. Click here to learn how to make an ipad playlist.
When it comes to the review portion of practice, you will need to review one piece before your polish piece, daily. Spend the rest of your time reviewing older pieces so you don’t have to cram for the next recital. Once ability has sprouted anything that is not watered will wither and die (you’ll forget it). “Ability begets ability” we cant expect to grow with a rocky foundation. Your older pieces are the foundation for the newer pieces.
Click here for the rainbow review charts:
3. Am I Ready to Graduate this piece? Mastery is essential in fostering ability but how can we track which layers are mastered, which layer we are currently on and what comes next? By the graduation chart. I have a list of 15 things required to consider a piece graduated. All pieces are memorized but this is not on the chart as it is a given. I print this chart double sided. List on one side, table on the other.
I used this method to track my students progress but parents can also use this chart to track it as well. I officially check things off, but parents can fill in their charts to match mine if they want to track progress.
The numbers on the chart correspond to the list of 15 items. When we are working on a layer I make a little note in the box. If we have mastered the question from the list, I put a check mark in the box. We work in order from 1-15. Doing this also helps teachers have a snap shot to work load and can be sure to give only one teaching point per piece.
Click here for PDFS:
- Am I ready to graduate this piece ? List of 15 questions.