Lesson Notes and Practice Targets is the ideal solution for both instrument teachers and students, providing a one-stop solution to organising practice effectively and helping to ensure the teacher has the maximum time available to support students during music lessons.
As a teacher I have found my students greatly benefit from having the lesson notes for the current lesson, and their practice targets for the next lesson on two separate sheets. This avoids practice targets getting 'lost in the mix'.
I also find it helps to integrate student practice planning into the lesson notes book, rather than having it separate. This means I can keep tabs on how instrumental students are planning their practice throughout the week.
Each 'week' consists of four pages – two for teacher use, one for student target planning use and one which may be used by teachers and students. There is also a space for notes to and from home, and a countdown to important performances.
The book is Crown Quarto size (7.44 x 9.68 inches) bigger than A5 to allow sufficient room to write comments, not as big as A4 so it is easy for students to carry and use.
The lefthand page is a space for teachers to write notes evaluating how near the student is to the targets set during the previous lesson. A pre-printed sheet is quick and easy to fill in and helps ensure you have a clear view of what is left to do during a lesson and the sub headings make it easy to refer to notes about different aspects of a student’s playing. It also enables you to see at a glance if you are writing the same notes about certain things lesson after lesson after lesson!
There is also a space for notes to and from home, keeping important parent/teacher communications in context of the specific work a student is doing (or not doing) and a date, for any notes about invoice payment etc.
The second page is where teachers writepractice targets for the coming week. The student then breaks these down into smaller, individual session targets for each practice session.
I am very specific about exactly what needs to be achieved during the week, often including a metronome mark of the expected tempo for each section if possible. Students may make any relevant notes in the box next to each target as they practice. At the end of the week, the student evaluates how close he or she is to achieving each target by filling in the appropriate number on the 1 to 5 scale.
The events coming up boxes enable students to have a countdown of days until important events. This ensures nothing creeps up on the student...or the teacher!
The student practice targets sheet helps students plan music practice over the week, breaking down the weekly practice targets set by the instrumental teacher. The sheet is designed as a countdown to the next lesson, so the student can see clearly how many days it is until the next music lesson. Again, this stops lessons 'creeping up'. Adding this sheet to a student notebook helps make planning practice a natural part of the learning process and also allows the teacher and parent to see at a glance if practice targets have been achieved for a certain session. It also encourages target orientated practice, which makes the time spent practising more efficient and effective.
There is also a space for general practice notes at the bottom of the sheet. This is a place for music students to comment on how they felt they progressed during the week, how they felt about their practice, anything they are particularly proud of, or worried about etc. I use this in a slightly different way from the practice notes on the targets page. This space is more for personal reflection from the student whereas the practice notes on the targets page is a space for difficulties encountered, questions on technique to ask the teacher etc.
The notes page is a space for teachers and students to make extra notes where necessary. These can be related to the lesson, technique or an aspect of music theory. This page also includes 4 blank music staves.
Lesson Notes and Practice Targets provides an easy-to-use format for teachers during music lessons as well as helping students organise and evaluate their practice in a time saving way. The format also allows teachers to see quickly if certain mistakes are being repeated and support students in correcting these as early as possible.
Students: Ask your teacher to start using this system. You'll be amazed at how just changing the system of making lesson notes can improve your playing and you achieve more progress from the same amount of practice!
Teachers: Start using this system with your students now. Faster progress, improved exam results, happier students and parents...you will wonder how you ever coped without it
Lesson Notes and Practice targets features overview
Lesson Notes and Practice Targets is available in 2 formats.
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Great for teachers because it gives clear notes and targets to students and provides a quick and easy self-evaluation system.
Great for students because you can see clearly what needs to be done during the week and plan practice accordingly.
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