Make a set of cards (index cards work great!) that have various “jobs” on them to break out during practice. Don’t be afraid to get a bit creative- “wild card” and “choose your own” work wonders when they’re mixed into a deck. A few ideas:
- Practice the end!
- Review song
- Practice the brackets
- Pick a scale
- Play a stuffed animal concert
- Clap it!
This type of practice card is more a way to keep organized and progressing through the week. There are a bazillion million trillion (I made the number up, but rest assured, it’s big) ways to use and make practice cards. The key is only that it helps- even if it’s only for a week.
This is one instance that “bribes” (external rewards) can be useful, just be sure that the external reward doesn’t end up being the sole and most important reward for practice. In other words, as soon as the reward becomes the only reason to play, and especially if that reward suddenly needs to be increased each week/month- trouble is brewing. Rewards should be sort of small but helpful incentives. Stickers on the chart, a new book, a small token or toy, a pack of gum, etc. Once those rewards become negotiations “I’ll only play if you get me a new puppy and you get me out of school each Friday” it becomes a losing battle- time to switch it up and ditch the rewards!
A google search for practice cards should bring up a lot of free and for fee options. They’re pretty simple to make on your computer, too. Make them practical for your situation- if 3 days of practice a week is working, don’t suddenly decide that the practice card should be made for 7. A super simple example is below, which only tracks that practice happened. A lot of students find it more helpful to also have categories for each item that needs to be practice- it keeps practice more organized.