FREE Resource for WAPS Families – Practice Journal
Coming up to the end of year, and concert season, many parents and students are juggling extra holiday commitments, exams, and rehearsals on top of their usual weekly schedule – it can be a difficult time to stay organised.
Many parents ask us how performing arts students can ensure that their home practice doesn’t suffer with all these extra commitments, so we’d like to share with you our own WAPS Home Practice Journal!
Practising your music, drama or dance homework outside of the studio is not just helpful for improving retention, technique, and performance skills – it’s vital! Practising helps develop muscle memory, increases your retention of choreography or repertoire, and gives students the chance to rehearse the key concepts that are taught during class. A student who only performs their skill for an hour or so per week (during class) will not find their repertoire as easy to remember or perform as a student who repeats this skill for an hour each day!
The WAPS Practice Journal (available to all enrolled students and parents via our DanceStudio-Pro enrolment portal in the ‘Studio Cloud’) focuses not only on recording how many minutes of practice occur each day, and recording instructions from your teacher to help you practise over the week, but also share tips on how to practise most efficiently! Here are some of our favourite tips from the journal – be sure to download the journal PDF yourself to see even more ideas:
1. Set yourself some SMART goals! The first pages of your WAPS Practice Journal are dedicated to setting yourself a goal for each term, and checking your progress throughout the year. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Based – a goal like “improve my piano scales” needs much more detail in order to meet these requirements. Discuss with your teacher what your strengths and weaknesses are, and find out what steps you can take each day, week or term to achieve your goal.
2. Set up your rehearsal room with care! What do you need to succeed? Depending on whether you are a dance, music or drama student you may require regular access to power, particular resources, a mirror, a barre, a stereo, and more. Ensure you always have all your required resources within reach – parents of younger students, consider making your child’s practice space a more public area of the house. Children practising music or dance in their rooms or out of sight from parents may not receive the help or feedback they require from an adult – much like doing homework at the kitchen table, practising in a public area gives children the chance to ask questions and receive help instantly!
3. Isolate difficult areas of your repertoire and repeat them separately from the rest of the piece. This tip is absolutely vital to improve your technique and skills – practising the “hard stuff” more than the “easy stuff” is the key to practising. Running a routine or piece over and over from start to finish will only help you so much, it’s isolating and repeating difficult sections or phrases that will give you true results. Find out more from your teacher, or download the WAPS Practice Journal for more information.