As we approach the recital, students are working on perfecting the song they chose months ago. From the outside, it would seem like repeating it over and over again would be the most effective way to prepare it for performance. Throughout the years, I have watched as students who only know how to start a song from the beginning struggle when a note gets fumbled halfway through the song. They want to re-start the song, in part to get a “do-over”, but also, because they always started at the beginning in practice.
One of my solutions is to practice with randomization using a set of dice. I use the normal 6 sided dice that come in every board game, plus some with 20 sides, and some with 10 sides. Depending on the length of the song, you choose the right combination to equal the measure numbers. Or, if the song is multiple pages, you use 2. One to designate page number and one to designate measure number. Then roll them and play only the measure determined by the die and the one following. If you end up with a song with 16 measures, but use a D20, you can make numbers 17-20 wild cards.
At a point in recital prep that can feel tedious, this adds a fun game aspect. It has the additional bonus of making the student actually see the notes again, when a lot of the song is memorized. I use this technique during lessons, but adding it to home practice would be helpful.
I have no idea if I invented this technique, but I haven’t encountered it with any other teachers. I guess having the combination of a gamer husband with an extensive dice collection and a music teaching wife was the start!

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *