Review – Making it Fun, Gets the Job Done – only 3 days to publication.
Meanwhile, I’d like to update you on the results of my recent survey on review. I asked you for your biggest anxieties and frustrations about helping children to review previously learnt pieces.
Back came an overwhelming response which I have attempted to distill into a few short posts.
Understanding what review is all about:
From teachers -
- Parents don’t understand or give proper importance to review. They want to spend practice time “advancing” to the next pieces.
- Trying to get parents to understand that review should be a priority – which is difficult as I don’t remember to always make review part of the lesson. A half-hour goes so quickly.
- How do I keep children’s joy in playing the pieces well and help parents understand that the review process is to help them obtain a higher level of mastery in their skills.
- Parents are more interested in moving on.
From parents -
- My biggest anxiety is the response received when a child does not understand why they are reviewing a piece previously learned.
- Knowing how many repetitions to do and how to keep concentration.
- When we review, I may be teaching my children the wrong habits.
- The quality of review. What to work on, how many pieces each practice.
Boredom and monotony:
From a teacher -
- Student reaction that they are “bored with review”- which is most often the parent talking. If skills are not being improved, then repetition can actually be harmful either for attitude or for technique that gets sloppy as they race through. (I am a teacher whose daughters were Suzuki students, now grown).
From parents -
- My kids will get bored, or I will get bored. I can’t make this interesting enough.
- My children say they don’t want to play the “baby” pieces and want to rush on to the new pieces.
- Everyday when it’s practice time, it’s hard to start. My son (6-yr-old) tends to ask 5 or 10 minutes extra play time before start practice violin.
Lack of focus:
- It’s difficult keeping my child mindful and not on automatic and engaged.
- The kids say “I’ve done that!” after reviewing it only once. Getting them to understand why we should play something multiple times, rather than just one and done.
- My daughter gets distracted very easily. There is constant bargaining in order for more pieces to be reviewed.
- Because my son already knows the piece, he will play too fast creating bad habits & mistakes.
- Getting my son to play slowly enough, playing too fast, listening, he wants to get it over and done with.
- There’s not enough care taken – the kids rush through and can’t keep the rhythm steady.
Lack of motivation:
- They think they know it so it is a waste of time, it is harder to help her work on bits of it since she feels like she knows it.
- There’s not enough time to cover everything else in the lesson.
- It’s difficult to always keep polishing, because of a lack of motivation on my children’s part to do it well.
- The kids get cross when I try to intervene and they are unwilling to review more than 1-2 pieces/day.
- I can’t make it interesting for them, without with relying on rewards/ bribes (stickers, toys, ice cream).
- That my children will still remember the pieces and dealing with their frustration in pieces they have forgot.
- We have forgotten previous pieces because we haven’t been doing review.
In tomorrow’s instalment, I’ll let you in on the results of these frustrations.