The following practice helps list was prepared for Suz News by Suzuki parent Cecile Johnson.
1.Sticker Charts-One sticker for a designated number of minutes each day. Save some days for the Daily Double or 2 for 1 stickers. (Kids will really practice!)
2.Dot-to-Dot Practice Art-Take a dot-to-dot picture from a coloring book and each time a child practices he/she connects one more dot until picture is complete. Then color the design. Begin with small pictures first and then increase with time.
3.Number Lottery-Depending on which book or song child is in, place slips of paper with corresponding numbers in a jar or cup. Student and parent alternate choosing a card-student looks up the song in the book for review.
4.Penny Arcade-100 pennies in one jar and empty jar with a picture of child's favorite treat (ice cream, gum, candy bar, pizza, etc.) or favorite meal. Child receives 1 penny for every 10 minutes of practice. When 100 pennies are in the student's treat jar-treat is given.
5.Book Party-When child passes from one book to next, host a graduation party, celebration, slumber party for child and a number of friends corresponding to the book passed. (Book 1=1 friend, Book 2 = 2 friends, etc.)
6.Suzuki Pal Practice-Invite your children's Suzuki pal for an afternoon after school for a practice session, snack and play time. Share pieces for each other and let the older student do some teaching of the younger.
7.Concert Time-Plan a time or even a spur of the moment to get out the cassette recorder and make a tape of your practices and/or home concerts to send to Grandma & Grandpa or special friends and relatives. Add a few stories, jokes and bits of family news. They'll love it and practice will be easy and longer too.
8.Challenge Duos-With two in the Suzuki program challenge students to play through one piece alternating phrases. If one starts who will finish the song?
9.Hangman-Chose a review song. Play piece. If an error is made in intonation, fingering, or bowing or you see mistakes in bow hand, feet, violin hand, etc., and to the figure each mistake.
10.Practice Session Scramble-If each session should be made up of listening, review tonalization, scales, polishing, or a new piece and reading, scramble the order around each day for some variety.
11.Boston Movie Time-If my daughter practices every day this month, she chooses a video to rent on our new machine. New contract or deal is drawn up at the first of each month.
Originally published in Suz News, a UNI Suzuki School publication