The Best Time to Practice
Have you ever received advice from a teacher that may work for everyone else but would end your (or your child's) violin career?
We live in the information age where everyone seems to have an "expert" opinion about what is best. However, that does not mean that it is the "best" for your unique situation.
Learn how to evaluate what is best for your (or your child's) practicing needs with this blog and video post explaining the importance of context.
Everything in this world exists in context including when to practice and what shoulder pad to use. Here I share my favorite metaphor about why size ten shoes are the best size to explain the importance of context and how to evaluate what is going to be the best formula for your (or your child's) violin practice needs.
I felt that if I was going to do a series on practicing, which in itself asserts that I have an expert opinion on the subject, that it would be insincere to publish these posts/videos without adding the balancing view that this contribution to the practicing series adds: Life exists in context.
What exactly do I mean by this?
I think most violin teachers would agree that practicing in the morning is the optimal time to practice - the mind is fresh, the daily responsibilities have not accumulated yet (for either parent or child). Also, by practicing first thing in the morning, you achieve the triumphant feeling of having accomplished something of significance at the start of the day which empowers a young person to proceed confidently through the rest of their day.
However, I know that more than one person reading this would assert that practicing first thing in the morning would be the kiss of death for their child or student because it would lead to negative power struggles as the child works against their delicate circadian rhythms resulting in defeat for all parties involved.
Morning practice routines are just one example of many that we as adults have to consider in context when teaching the violin to young children. Other areas that come to mind are shoulder pads, chin rests, repertoire sequencing and musical genres.
Keep the concept of context in the back of your mind when working with young musicians to help best support them in their journey learning the violin.
4/23/2019 08:15:07 pm
There is nothing that will sear that into your mind better than the experience of being a parent of violin students. :)
4/25/2019 04:57:53 am
Thank you for posting Courtney. I am confident that more than one mother/teacher wants to jump thru the screen and give you a hug. I wish you success in finding resources to support yourself with this journey. Have you looked into: http://www.suzukitriangle.com/about/
4/23/2019 11:17:16 pm
Heather, I actually have one student (age 11) who practices in the early morning BY CHOICE!
4/25/2019 04:59:49 am
Hello - Thank you so much for posting this inspiring little nugget. Kudos to your 11 year old - she has something figured out in life that took me decades to realize (as I type this now at 5:00AM while in my 40's). Kudos also to yourself for committing to AM exercise - this is a goal of mine and sometimes my early schedule does not permit this but when I do go to my AM fitness class my day is exponentially better. Thanks again!
Leave a Reply.
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!