Instrumental Practice, Part 2: CALL FAMILY

Check out these great tips for piano practice from the Call family! 

  • We practice everyday Monday – Saturday
  • The day after or the day of their class/lesson we sit down together and go over what they need to do this week.
  • We write what they need to do down (most of it is already written in their books from Nan) and how many times a day they need to do those things. So if it is practicing a song, depending on how well they have it down, we say they play it 2 times a day or maybe 4 times a day if they need a little more practice on it. If it is a card game we will write down they need to do that 3 times that week and we pick what days (depending on what day they have a little more time) they will do their card game. We also pick what day they will be doing their workbook pages. I find that after we have gone over all that together the rest of the practices that week go smoother because they know exactly what they need to do on each day of practice for the week. Also taking that time at the beginning of their practice week helps me not have to be so involved with every practice, only if they get stuck or have a problem.
  • Having 6 girls needing time on the piano is a struggle. We have a regular piano and a full size keyboard hooked up to piano marvel at our house and that helped a lot with scheduling time on the piano. We have a schedule with who is on the piano and at what time. We have one who plays in the morning before school, two who play while the others girls are at school and 3 who play after school.
  • In our opinion piano practice is as important as homework or reading. It also can be as frustrating. If my girls have fits or are in a cantankerous mood about piano practice I send them to their room until they cool down however, they have to come back and finish their piano before they can go play or do anything else. So the longer they fight doing it the longer it takes.
  • At the end of school and lessons for the year we take them out on a huge family fun day. So that is their reward for a good year of work. We also give them tons of compliments and lots of “so proud” moments. Also, it is amazing what they will do for a balloon or treat!
  • Although they all have their moments of struggle, one of my daughters in particular struggles with practice sometimes. We have made a contract with her and Nan that she signed and we signed and Nan signed. We keep it up in the music room and it reminds her of the promise she made and the reward/consequences of her behavior.
  • We love music, it fills our home, souls and minds with light and joy. On the bad days I have my older girls play hymns or peaceful songs that bring the Spirit and after the girls (and I) calm down I remind my little ones “don’t you want to bring that Spirit to other people someday too? You must practice, it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, every minute you practice brings you closer to your goal”. Then we hug it out and I send them right back in to finish their piano!
  • Side Note… My 16 and 14 year old would tell you I have mellowed a lot from when they started taking lessons. I don’t cry/yell nearly as much, I am more detached about fits. I have found a lot more eternal perspective as I grow older and it helps with all aspects of my life, including piano!