For most children, it will be best to spend a day or two practicing on their own between watching new lessons. So what should that practice time look like? Here’s a suggested practice routine which you can customize to fit your own child’s needs:
- Start by practicing the most recent song from the lessons. Try to play it through three to five times, depending on your child’s attention span. Sometimes I ask a child to “play your age,” so a 7-year-old would play the song 7 times. To keep things interesting, don’t play it the exact same way every time. You can try playing in the right hand, left hand, or both hands together. Also try playing higher or lower on the piano, or with eyes closed!
- Review other recent lessons that haven’t been completely mastered. Try one of our practice games to encourage improvement.
- Play through all of the songs learned since the beginning of the Unit. Playing along with our Practice Album is a good way to do this. In the early units, make sure both the right hand and the left hand are getting a turn to play each song, so both hands can develop evenly.
- At the end of practice time, a theory worksheet or activity page from our Lesson Materials is a nice way to finish up.
- Use our Hoffman Academy Practice Chart to help make sure a great practice session happens every day.
- If you’re a Hoffman Academy Premium member, each video lesson comes with a practice session. When you use the practice sessions you’ll be sure to get a perfect balance of working on your new songs, reviewing old songs, and using our games and worksheets to develop your music skills.
Practice sessions should be short and sweet. End the session before your child is getting uncomfortable. Ten to fifteen minutes is a good practice session for a beginner, gradually moving up to twenty minutes by the time a child reaches Unit 3. Some students, especially younger students, may do better with several short practice periods rather than one longer session.