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New: Practice Logs and Charts

Music Lesson Practice ChartOne of the most common lesson openers we hear as music teachers is the famous line, “I didn’t get to practice much this week…”. It is essential that our students practice if they are to improve in their abilities. But getting them to practice can sometimes be a chore.

How often do your students practice? Is that something you measure or have your students track? How helpful would it be if you could know exactly when your students are practicing, for how long, and what they’ve been working on, even before they come to their lesson? What if you could provide some incentive for your students to practice more?

Music Teacher’s Helper now has a fun way to help your students track their practicing on-line through your studio website. Every student can record when they practiced, for how long, and any details about what they worked on.

But what’s even cooler is that you can see all of this information instantly from your own computer. Music Teacher’s Helper will even draw a bar chart for you showing how much a student has practiced each day.

I’ve heard of some teachers having “practice contests” where the student who practices the most (within their skill level), gets a reward. Music Teacher’s Helper tracks all of this for you and will show you which of your students is the top “practicer” in each skill level.

To view your practice log and practice charts, simply go to the “Students” tab, then click “Practice Log”. You can add practice entries yourself to test it out, or let your students do it. You’ll never be in the dark again about your students’ practicing.

About the Author

Brandon Pearce
Brandon Pearce is the founder and CEO of Music Teacher's Helper, a web-based software program to help music teachers manage the business aspects of teaching music lessons.

A piano teacher and computer programmer himself, he created Music Teacher's Helper as a side project to manage his own students, and in 2004, made it available for music teachers worldwide.

Since then, it has grown to supp... [Read more]

2 Comments

  1. Mike Saville

    Hi, we are always looking for ways to encourage our pupils to find better ways to practice.

    I think the software tool you have looks to be ideally suited to practice competitions where students can view their progress against peers.

    My concern would be motivation and access to fill in the tool on a regular basis. There is an assumption here that the student will logon regularly and update their information – I would think some students would challenge this assumption. . . .

    My second concern would be that the focus here remains on ‘amount’ of practice. The focus should surely be on the quality of practice and best use of time. Tracking in a tool like this might encourage students to view time spent as the main indicator of practice success – which to my mind is a problem.

    I can see in the future when there is universal access to online tools and technology that this may be the best way to track and manage students progress. The current state and availibilty of technology to my mind means that use of a good quality notebook which is permanently in the instrument case is preferred.

    Unless of course someone can convince me that all my students will logon each and every day to record progress and that progress recorded would be task based and not time based. . . . .

  2. Brandon Pearce

    @Mike: You’ve made some good points. We all want our students’ practice time to be effective and of high quality, and this is up to us, the teacher, to show our students the best way to practice.

    The teacher has no obligation to use the practice log as a competition, since students can’t other students’ practice logs at this time. But if the student knows he is expected to fill out the log, having that accountability can be a good motivator for the student to practice. And even if not motivational, having the record is helpful for the student and the teacher to review it in conjunction with the progress being made by the student in their lessons.

    There may certainly be students who don’t want to login and record their practice. There will also be students who don’t want to fill out a paper practice sheet. Although I think most would prefer to use the computer these days. This is all up to the teacher to decide whether they will require students to record practice, or only recommend it, or not worry about it at all.