In December each year, our studio has its longest break. Students get a full two weeks off from piano lessons. I hope all of my students will enjoy a time of relaxation, visiting friends and family, and enjoying the peace and beauty of the holiday season. I 100% support taking a short break from practicing piano during this time, but if you or your child wishes to supplement their piano practice over the break, I’ve gathered some ideas for you!
Listen to Classical Music
Check out Wendy Stevens’ comprehensive list of “Best Classical Music for Parents to Give Their Kids” My top 5 are:
- Claire de Lune – Debussy
- Flight of the Bumblebee – Rimsky Korsakov
- Rhapsody in Blue – Gershwin
- Carnival of the Animals–Saint-Saens
- The Cat and the Mouse–Aaron Copland
Click each link to download a free printable set of flashcards. Make sure to tell Miss Leslie if you practice these. She will be so impressed!
- Note Name Flashcards – appropriate for Elementary through Intermediate levels
- Music Intervals Flashcards – appropriate for Elementary through Advanced levels (beginners can disregard the classification of intervals, i.e. “Perfect,” “Major,” “Minor” and only focus on the interval, i.e. 5th, 2nd, 6th)
- Key Signature Flashcards – appropriate for Intermediate through Advanced levels
Work on Technique
This can be pentascales (also called 5-Finger Scales), 1-octave scales, 2-octave scales, etc. as well as chord progressions and arpeggios. If your child has a Technique book as part of their method book series, take advantage of all the great exercises it provides. Here’s a fun resource for practicing technique.
Sightreading means playing a piece of music for the first time. A musician’s sightreading goal is always to play as many notes and rhythms correctly on the first try as possible. For my students who use the Piano Adventures method books, you can find a Sightreading Book that goes with your level. Here is the Primer level Sightreading Book.
And last, but not least . . .
Play Previously Learned Music
Nothing is quite more satisfying than playing through “old” or previously learned music. What was once difficult is now a breeze! If you have family or friends visiting for the holidays, pick a few of these pieces to show off in a mini-recital or teach a sibling or cousin one of your songs.
Whether you take a break from practicing or enjoy the above musical activities alongside your regular practice routine, I hope you have a safe and happy winter break!