Jan 25, 2014

Engaging & Reflective Practice Assignments

Here are a few alternatives to the typical practice log.  (This is a long overdue continuation of a blog post from three years ago - "Not Your Ordinary Playing Assessment".)  Simply having students solely document their practice time is not an effective means of assessment.  Wouldn't you like to know what they practiced, struggled with, or even learned?  How about setting a goal for their practice session?  As a young teacher, I did the practice journal minutes with a parent signature.  But, eventually I figured out that these were not effective.  I currently use a combination of playing tests in full band, curriculum-based assessments in small group lessons, and practice assignments, like the ones below, scheduled throughout the year.

I have successfully used these practice assignments with my students because it forces them to actively engage in their practice session.  It requires them to think about what they were successful with and what challenged them.  The more recent assignments include goal setting. All the assignments include their parents in the practice session with a short performance as a culminating activity.

These assignments were created from a combination of other worksheets and my own ideas and teaching experience.  Feel free to use them with your own students!


  1. This is great! I did (well, attempted) to do this last year but ran into issues reminding myself and students they were due. How often do you require your students to do this practice record? Do you supply paper copies each time?

    1. Thanks Josh! This practice assignment is only done 1-2 times per trimester. I don't track the student's other practicing. For example: small group lesson etudes and scale tests. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'd be happy to help.