At the first lesson in August every year, my students are asked to fill out a practice schedule card and return to me the following week. It’s quite simple. I tell them this is an exercise in thinking through their day and the time they’ve been given to use wisely. It’s not that it has to be set in stone or that it can’t change, it’s simply good practice to go through the act of writing out their weekly schedule.
All my students are expected to fill out the card – whether they’re in the 1st grade or a senior in high school.
I was inspired by a similar card we were given in college that mapped out the day in 30-minute increments. I lived by that card found it to be very beneficial.
Why not use it for my piano students?
Page one is a blank schedule for them to fill out and page two is an example. The first year we did this, I was getting enough “how do you want me to fill this out?” questions I figured an example was in order for the next year. While they’re told to fill it out however they want – it’s for their benefit – they still seem to need a more concrete example.
Printing on card stock works well. Print the blank page on one side and the example on the other.
Of course, there are always one or two students who never turn it in. Some bring them back colorful and others quite sparse. They’ve been hanging on my bulletin board for six weeks. I just took them down and plan on bringing them back out in January to talk to the students about their initial plans and see if they’ve stuck with it or if they need to re-think their practice time.
The first year the schedule only went from 9 am-8 pm, but when I realized some students practiced before school, it got expanded from 6 am-9 pm.