Death, Taxes, and Student Holiday Lethargy

Like death and taxes, you can be certain that upon returning from break you’ll face wimpy embouchures that sound like its September all over again, right?

What if we challenge that?  Don’t worry, I’m not so naïve as to suggest that simply assigning SmartMusic homework over break is going to inspire every student. But there might be a way, especially if we favor the carrot to the stick.

You might offer extra credit assignments, created from unused method books (or ensemble titles) for a small number of points. You might also solicit repertoire ideas from students – have them browse through ensemble music at the appropriate level of difficulty. You could even create a response assignment for students to suggest five pieces they’d like to play after they’ve listened to many pieces and tried a few.

For more advanced students, this might be a good time of year to branch out into newer solo repertoire. There’s plenty there for upcoming solo competitions, and older students can be looking towards college entrance auditions.

Finally, search for holiday titles in SmartMusic 2010 – it’s always easier to inspire practicing when the music is seasonally compelling.

With a little planning, you could be pleasantly surprised when you return to class, and the corresponding reduction in stress might even add years to your life.

Sadly, you’re still on your own for the taxes.

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