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Monday, August 22, 2011

Quick Practice Tip: The Word for this Week is. . .

My quick practice tip this week is to offer you a word for the week:

O R G A N I Z E!

This is the season when a new semester starts. Now is the perfect time to set up the coming semester in a way that will induce good practice habits. How do you go about the task of organizing? I like to use the journalism questions to be sure that I have considered all the possible angles to this issue:


  • Who will do the practicing?
  • Which parent will practice with the child?
  • Will the child be practicing independently?
  • Who will be responsible for initiating the practice session?


  • What is to be practiced?
  • What order should things be practiced?
  • What is the teacher's practice assignment?
  • What other things should be practiced?


  • Where will the practice take place?
  • Where is the best place for the student to practice?


  • When will the practice take place?
  • When is the best time of the day to practice?
  • When will practices take place during the week?


  • How will practice be organized?
  • How will the practice plan be decided?

I saved this question for last because the word introduces a complex issue.

  • Why am I practicing?
  • Why am I practicing this particular thing?

These last questions raise the issue of goal-setting. If we are clear about the "why" we do something, then we are more likely to stay motivated and follow through. When we are unclear about where we are headed, we tend to proceed in a more aimless, meandering fashion. We might reach our goal, but we may visit a lot of unnecessary places along the way. There may be appropriate times when we want to do this kind of practice, but in general, I think we are much more productive if we have a map of where we want to go already in place before we set out on our journey.

Start your week by organizing your thoughts, your equipment, and your practice plan.

Start today     -----     Start now

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