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A sample daily practice routine for an inexperienced student:

1) Parent helps student tune the instrument and makes sure the bow hair is tightened, rosin is applied (if necessary), and the shoulder rest is attached correctly.
2) Parent holds the bow while student brings instrument into position (see tutorial). Parent hands bow to student.
3) Place bow on strings and check bow hold.
4) Bowing practice on open strings (teacher should assign specific rhythms to practice). Practice to achieve a good tone and crisp articulation. Play with a full tone (forte).
5) Play scale(s) using the rhythms from the open string practice. Practice to achieve good intonation (check pitch with open strings), good tone, and crisp articulation. Play with a full tone (forte).
6) Practice newly assigned piece. When learning a new piece, don't start at the beginning of a piece and play through to the end. Instead, take the piece phrase by phrase. Practice the first phrase until you can play it in tune, with a good sound, expressively, with all marked dynamics. Make music out of the first phrase. Then learn the second phrase. When that phrase sounds as good as the first, put them together and make it musical. You will learn the piece faster, and when you do get to the end, the entire piece will truly be learned.
7) Practice the last piece learned for review - instead of starting at the beginning and playing through to the end, try starting in a different place every day. For example, start halfway through, play for 8 or 16 bars. Play that section a few times, trying to make it better each time. Be critical of your own playing. Ask yourself, "What can I do to make this music sound better?" Conclude by playing the piece through from beginning to end.
8) Conclude the practice session by playing a piece you know well from the beginning to the end without stopping, pretending that it is a performance. Critique yourself and spend a few minutes going back over any sections that you had difficulty with.

A sample daily practice routine for an experienced student:

Decide what you will practice and what your goals are before you begin your practice session.

1) Tune
2) Warm-Up related to your practice goals for the day - it may involve scales, arpeggios, etudes, bow stroke or shifting practice.It may involve playing a piece you already know well.
3) Focus of the day
4) Reward - play something you know (and like to play) for fun.

When learning a new piece, don't start at the beginning of a piece and play through to the end. Instead, take the piece phrase by phrase. Practice the first phrase until you can play it in tune, with a good sound, expressively, with all marked dynamics. Make music out of the first phrase. Then learn the second phrase. When that phrase sounds as good as the first, put them together and make it musical. You will learn the piece faster, and when you do get to the end, the entire piece will truly be learned.

Another effective strategy when learning a new piece is to begin by learning the most technically difficult passage(s) in the piece until they are mastered, then learn the rest of the piece.

 

 

 
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