Counting stones for practice jars are an easy, quick and economical gift to make for your students and will help a musician of any level stay organized and goal oriented in their home practice.
Above is a picture of a counting stone practice jar from a batch that I recently made and shared with the teenagers in my studio as a Christmas gift. I purchased the stones and beads from my local Michaels Craft store.
To use the counting stones for practice jar the student removes the stones from the jar and places one back in the jar for every repetition they complete to satisfaction. Since I believe it is important to use both singing and visualization when doing repetitions I used a variety of stones to emphasize my teaching values. The special stones (or beads) that are different looking can be used to keep track of these non-violin repetitions and create a sequence. For example, a student could place the stones on their music stand in a specific order that represents 2 violin play thrus and 1 sing thru, 2 violin play thrus and 1 sing thru, etc…
Practice counting devices like this help musicians keep track of their repetitions without having to log the numbers in their head. This frees up mental space so they can more fully concentrate on their musical goals. Also of benefit is using the left hand to put the repetition stone back in the jar which will give a much needed muscle release to the body so that tension does not accumulate.
Watch a video using counting stones:
How do you help your students accomplish repetitions in their home practice? Please share in the comments below.
1/12/2016 08:48:00 am
Clever idea that doesn't take up a lot of space!
1/12/2016 08:49:40 am
Thanks for the comment Ashley! You are the first person to enter my give away contest this month. Best wishes, Heather
1/12/2016 09:16:36 am
This is a great idea! You could also use colorful marbles or bouncy balls!
1/12/2016 02:12:15 pm
Thanks Allison - I appreciate your support. Heather
1/12/2016 04:30:50 pm
1/13/2016 06:25:20 am
I can only imagine how much your students love this! Thanks for sharing such a creative idea. Heather
2/7/2016 02:43:50 pm
Hello - You are officially a VERY FUN teacher. What a blast - I am sure your students love this and even more if they get to throw. Please keep us posted with other creative ideas! Thanks, Heather
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Hi! It's me, Heather. I absolutely love working on the Music for Young Violinists project and all the many facets: blogging, website, music, teaching materials, freebies, videos, newsletter and giveaway contests. The best part is connecting with you so feel free to drop me a line. You can learn more about me on the "ABOUT" page. Thanks!