Home practise can be quite a challenge, which I know of first hand with my own children taking music lessons on other instruments! I am constantly looking at ways to make it easier for everyone to make sure it (a) happens and (b) is effective, as the main reason for students not progressing and consequently dropping out of lessons is a lack of practise at home.
In Term I introduced the “Tonara” practise app after it was recommended by a fellow teacher here in Perth. Around half of my students took up trying it out (which did see practise increase in some of those who used it!), but the app proved to be rather buggy and the developers announced that they were drastically going to change what it did (and introduce a hefty fee in the process), so I discontinued use of it at the end of the term.
I have been researching replacements for Tonara, as I am really keen for students to have something they can use at home to effortlessly record their practise, particularly since a large number of students are still fronting up to lessons having barely touched the piano since their last lesson.
I have found a web-based app called “Better Practice” that I think will make an enormous difference (and be a lot of fun!) IF it is made use of. It has SOOO much more functionality built in, including a metronome, the ability to upload the sheet music and embed videos of the song in the assignment so they have everything in one place. It has some 23,000 songs already entered in, covering the majority of the lesson books as well as the Rockschool exam method. Plus it can be used on a wide variety of devices, including computers.
Parents can also read a letter from the creator.
I will start setting up accounts this week and will go through it in the lessons next week. I do urge you to try to encourage your children to use it for the remainder of this school term.
Here’s a sneak peak of what will be available to students: