practice drills

Music Practicing 101: The Looping Drill

The Looping Drill is one of my favourite drills since it can be used at any stage of music mastery.

Every Other Bar Drill Demonstration for Piano and Melodica

The Every Other Bar Drill has proved to be a successful drill with my students this month. Some need to clean things up, especially their notes, rhythm and fingering. Others need to make their music flow more smoothly. This drill addresses these issues. The student plays the odd numbered bars in a troublespot, while I play the even numbered bars on the melodica. Then we switch.Afterwards, when I get them to play the entire passage, the difference from their first runthrough at the lesson and the latest is like night and day.

A melodica is a "wind piano". A very fun instrument to play. Photo by R-M Arca.

It really doesn't matter what that second instrument is - voice, French horn, percussion. What I have been finding is that this drill really forces my students to count and "feel" the pulse. For me, this is proving to be a great way to practice "Instrument #5" - the melodica. This wind piano is a fun little instrument. It looks like I'll need to work on breath technique a bit more, though.

Special thanks to my student "S" for giving me permission to share this clip from last week's lesson.

Music Practicing 101 - Fill in the Blanks Drill

This is a handy practice drill to use when you keep pausing in your song. It's best done with a small section and then you expand your work area. The video was taken last winter (hence, the Christmas hat). It goes through how to use the Fill in the Blanks Drill.

Happy practicing!