The holiday break is something all families look forward to. It's a time for much needed rest and relaxation and for students it's a time to take a break from all those pesky obligations, like homework and school projects. Unfortunately, music practice will also be ignored, but we're here to tell you to keep the music rockin' (around the Christmas tree)!
By taking time off from practicing music, a lot of progress that was previously made will soon disappear. Music, much like learning a new language, is best learned by frequent use.
Now, we understand that the student's music teacher gives them new material and helpful guidance each week in class, so many students will feel as if there is nothing to practice while on break. If this is the case, we suggest branching out and playing music in other ways. For example, if a piano student normally plays songs in a method book, try to put away the book and play something by ear or from memory. Pick a favorite song, close
your eyes and try to sound out the different pitches in the melody. It doesn't have to sound perfect. What's really valuable is that the student is using their music playing muscles. Students can also try playing a different genres. As a music educator my personal favorite genre to play this time of year is a collection of holiday songs to get everyone in the spirit! Don't forget to have fun with it and use helpful resources on the internet, like YouTube tutorials or printable sheet music.
Most importantly, remember to take the time to spend with loved ones this holiday season and don't neglect taking a little time for music. A small amount of practice goes a long way. This will make the student feel less frustrated when returning to music class in the new year.
With that being said, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year!