What Exactly Is the Lesson Sheet?
Have you ever wondered how your student ever remembers what to practice at home after learning from three different teachers every week? The secret is in the lesson sheet! Each student is given a new sheet every week, and as they rotate through the rooms, the teachers write down the assignments that need to be completed, as well as suggestions on how to practice and improvements that need to be made. The lesson sheet is critical to the students’ success, as it is a direct link to their teachers as they are practicing throughout the week.
It also motivates them to practice! If you look at the right hand side of the sheet, you’ll see a daily practice calendar. Every day they practice, they can draw a check mark or put a sticker in the corresponding box. We recently changed our lesson sheets so that music bucks are now given out according to the number of days that are checked off on the calendar, instead of how prepared the teacher feels the student is for the lesson. This means that students can get up to six music bucks per teacher if they practice every day, so be sure to record that practice time. Also note that there is a place for a parent’s signature to validate the practicing.
Above the assignments section is a little paragraph called “If You’re Stuck, Try These”. Each word or phrase is an idea to help students practice effectively, especially if they’ve encountered a tricky spot in their music. These strategies include working backwards, counting out loud, super slo-mo, high fingers, and working with the metronome. All of these ideas have been field-proven to work great on ironing out hard passages!
The Comments Box at the top of the page is for general techniques that the student needs to work on, such as how to fix their hand position, or for other notifications, like their getting a new book or needing to cut their fingernails! This is perhaps the most important place for the parents to look because they can help their student focus on fundamental improvements.
Keep up the hard work! As Vladimir Horowitz said, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice“!