Home Practice Tips

  • Practicing at home is so important when you are learning how to play an instrument.  An orchestra is a team effort, and every member of the team should fulfill their responsibilities by working to improve every day. 

    The minimum amount you should be practicing at home is 75 minutes per week (15 minutes x 5 days per week).  Remember, it's better to practice a little bit each day than a lot all in one day! 

    Visit the next page on this website for information about Essential Elements Interactive, the online component of our method book.

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     Here are some helpful strategies for your practice routine at home:

    • Set up your practice space carefully.  You should be away from noise or other distractions.
    • Use a music stand (and if you play violin, viola, or bass, STAND while you practice!).
    • At the beginning of each week, set goals for the entire week and for each practice session.
    • Plan a practice routine that includes warm-ups, exercises, and focused detail work.
    • Warm up first using scales and long bows.
    • Review what you learned in your lesson that week.
    • Clap and count → pluck and count → bow!
    • P R A C T I C E   S L O W L Y
    • Focus on a single measure or line that is giving you trouble.
    • Work backwards or forwards by adding one note at a time.
    • Play through a passage using just your left hand (without making any sound).
    • Play something fun at the end of your practice time.

    Always try your best to be healthy and comfortable.  Playing a string instrument requires many different muscles.  It's easy to ignore any little discomforts, but you will feel much better if you take the time to adjust your position.  Stretch carefully and often - most importantly before you begin to practice - and listen to what your body is telling you when you play.

    Don't forget:  record each practice session in your practice chart, and get your chart signed by a parent/guardian before each lesson!