Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: 101 Piano Practice Tips by Tracy Selle (and a giveaway!)

Tracy Selle's new ebook "101 Piano Practice Tips" (available here) was written for parents, but can be invaluable for students, teachers, grandparents, siblings, and anyone who is involved in the life of a child or teen who is taking piano lessons.

The 101 tips included in the book are brief, to the point, relevant, creative, and can be put into practice (no pun intended!) immediately. Tracy has put together a wonderful list of practice tips and has organized them into sections such as:

*"The Top Ten Things You Can Do Right Now"
*"How to Encourage Good Quality Practice"
*"All Practice Does Not Need to be at the Piano"

This book even includes tips from kids and tips from parents!

There are tips about having fun, creating a great practice environment, encouraging students to practice more, including grandparents as practice helpers, seeking opportunities for your child to perform, and many more. I've already put quite a few of her suggestions onto my list to encourage my own students, and I'm excited to see the looks on their faces when I have them do some of the fun tips such as wearing a special practicing hat :)

I've recommended this book to all of my piano families, and I hope you do too! Whether you're a music teacher, a parent who plays an instrument, a parent who doesn't play an instrument, a grandparent, or someone who is involved with a child or teen who is taking lessons, this is a great book to add to your virtual bookshelf, and it is full of a variety of tips to have up your sleeve :)

Tracy has generously offered to give away a copy of her book to one of my readers!

To be entered in the drawing, scroll down to the bottom of this post and leave a comment about practicing: "What is your own favorite practice tip? Share a tip that you use when practicing or a tip that is a favorite of your students." Then complete your entry by using the Rafflecopter below. The drawing will take place on Thursday, January 16. All entries must be received by Wednesday, January 15. The winner will be contacted via email and must respond by Friday, January 17 to claim the prize.

Thanks, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would love to check this out! We need to encourage healthy practicing!

  2. My favorite practice tip (for myself and for my students) is to have a regular practice time each day, or at least schedule practice at a specific time, because starting is the hardest part for busy people. Thanks for the giveaway, this book looks great!

  3. Looks like a great book! I'd love to read it!

  4. Every few months, I make a contest which charts the students' practice days. I would love to have this book.

  5. One of my favorite new ideas for practicing/ memorizing: Copy your song (you will destroy it when you've learned the song) and cut it apart into flashcard size bits. Then, away from the keyboard study a flashcard and ask these questions:

    Can you say the LH notes?
    Can you say the RH notes?
    Can you play the LH in the air?
    Can you play the RH in the air?
    Can you play both hands in the air?
    Can you hum the melody?
    Can you speak the text?
    Can you clap the rhythm of the text?
    Can you sing the text?

    These are all good ways to practice and you don't even need a keyboard. Thanks to my student, Morgan, for this great idea!

  6. Schedule it around daily events like following the after-school snack, or before XXX TV show, or after getting dressed in the morning

  7. Just saw what we were supposed to post about... I always encourage my students to practice in small sections! Work out problems and gain confidence in notes and timing then move on.

  8. I like to suggest sprinkling casual practice throughout the day in addition to a set focus time

  9. I have lots of favorites but one is: play the left hand of your piece while humming the right hand!

  10. I remind them that after they have put in a good "practice" session (using many of these kinds of ideas listed) to be sure to finish up with something they enjoy playing. As a reward to themselves. (right now it's usually a "pop" piece they are working on that they love.

  11. I would be very excited to win this ebook. I encourage my students to practise every day even if it's only for 10 minutes.

  12. My favorite tip is that you can always find a minute or two even on those busiest of days! Remember that measure that you're having such difficulty with, or that scale you haven't mastered, or that trill that is not going smoothly? It is amazing what 2 concentrated minutes can do to help one small rough spot, so "no time to practice" is usually not an option! And, my students have been amazed at what could be accomplished even in those small snippets of time that you can find! Would love to read 101 more tips for practice, because you can never have too many! Thanks

  13. I like to turn practice into a game - especially with my children. Set goals to master small chunks of a piece in a set number or repetitions or number of minutes. Tally points against an imaginary competitor. For exampel, if you play the section without mistakes, you earn a point, if you make a mistake your imaginary opponent earns a point. Reward yourself when you meet your goals or win the game.

  14. I'd love to have this book, too! I like to encourage practicing with an incentive plan, but also with rewards for performing assigned pieces well during the lesson.

  15. We put a small Casio keyboard in my daughter's room. During her occasional :) time outs in her room, or at night if she is not quite ready to sleep, she is free to play her keyboard. It is amazing how much unintentional practicing happens (and how much more pleasant she is at the end of the time out).

  16. I don't have any tips. I will be putting my son in lessons soon and need all of the help I can get. :)

  17. Encourage parents to support the child's practicing with praise, praise, praise!

  18. I tell my younger students especially to practice in short segments...10 min before they go to school, 10 min before dinner. They tend to get antsy and frustrated if sitting longer. I would love to win this book!