Oct 15, 2017

Not Your Ordinary Playing Assignment

If you're like most band directors, you have students that struggle with practicing at home. Student musicians, especially younger ones, often have not developed the intrinsic motivation yet to practice on their own. Creating a practice and self-assessment assignment that involves goal setting, reflection, and performance motivates them to practice and even gets their parents involved too. 

The most rewarding aspects of a practice assignment:
      1. It's self-reflective
      2. Engages students in goal setting
      3. Reinforces practicing
      4. Encourages parental involvement
      5. Communicates performance standards
Take time to guide your students through the assignment and communicate your expectations. It is helpful to send an email home about the upcoming assignment describing what to listen for. TIP: include a music symbol guide describing the types articulations and dynamics they may see and hear in their child's music.

The parental feedback I've received is overwhelmingly positive. I often read how enjoyable it is for parents to hear their child practicing at home and giving a 'living room' performance for the family.  These assignments can be tailored to all kinds of music. From scales to the Star Spangled Banner, the possibilities are endless.

1. Goal Setting Practice Assignment:

2. Concert Music Playing Assessment

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  1. very informative post... keep posting.

  2. Nancy Moser7/28/11, 8:13 PM

    Wow Keith, great! Imma steal it! :)

  3. Love! I think this will take my playing assignments to an entirely new level.

    1. Thats great Liesl! Feel free to share this post with other directors too.

  4. Love this. It plays into exactly what my admin is looking for (reflection and goal-setting). However, I needed to make a Google Docs version of this. I have included a link for those who might need Google-fied versions...


    1. Thanks for creating a G Docs version Bryan! Glad you can use this.