• Christy | the Practice Pro

#69 "Two For One Easter Deal" at Practice Time

Updated: May 6



By Christy | The Practicing Pro

www.ScotiaSuzuki.org

Read the Blog HERE and get your FREE "Get to Know You" Easter practice activity. You can also Watch / Listen to the Live HERE where I share some family Easter traditions I had with my own children growing up.


Who doesn't like to look through a basket of colorful Easter eggs and choose one to open to see what's inside?


This is one of my favorite practice activities. It can be done at anytime throughout the year, but I like to save it for Easter. It's a great way to get to know your child or your student better. All you have to do is ask them some fun questions that are inside Easter eggs that they get to choose. You can also include a little foil chocolate egg surprise or jelly bean in an egg if you want to as well!


There are two kinds of questions you can use for this activity. The first kind is an open-ended “get to know you” question that requires a full answer. The second kind is a “would you rather” question that requires them to choose one thing or another. This activity is a fast one and a great way to make your practicing over Easter long weekend a little different and entertaining. Plus, any opportunity to get to know your child a little better is a win in my books.


Did you know that parent involvement is one of the pillars of the Suzuki Method? If you are not involved in a Suzuki program, you can find many ways to be involved as well, like doing practice activities. Children learn best if parents are actively involved and show encouragement during their musical journey. If they see that you are supportive and excited about their progress, they will be more willing to work hard. Taking an active role is key, which is why Suzuki parents are encouraged or expected (depending on your teacher and your child's age) to attend every lesson, take notes during the lessons and organize and act as a supportive figure during at-home practices. If parents are on their phones, distracted or appear in any way unsupportive, it shows their child, at that moment, that their music lessons are not important to them. If their parents are not motivated to be engaged, why is the child expected to be? Learning more about each other in this activity and being excited about their hard work during their practice strengthens your bond and the value of your commitment to their music education.


Before you start, decide what your child or student needs the most motivation with in their practice right now - is it scales, drill spots or review songs?


Be sure to spread those out in your practice. For example, if you chose review songs, your practice chart /time might look like this:


  1. Review song - pick an egg

  2. 3 scales

  3. Review song - pick an egg

  4. Study

  5. Review song - pick an egg

  6. 3 scales

  7. Review song - pick an egg

  8. Nugget practice (drill spots)

  9. Review song - pick an egg

  10. New songs

  11. Review song - pick an egg

  12. Sight-reading - pick an egg to read and answer the question for you and for your parent/teacher to answer.


If your player is older or chatty, I suggest that each time they get to pick an egg, they don't open it right away but instead save it in a pile. At the end of their practice, the big reward is to get to answer the questions. Maybe you can take turns answering them, so your child can learn a little about you too! If this activity is done during a lesson, then the teacher can choose one for the child to answer to end the lesson and the player can choose one for the teacher to answer. That can work too! For teens that may not be as motivated by the questions, you can include a small chocolate treat in the egg as well.


If your child is younger or needs lots of mini-breaks throughout the practice to stay motivated, then each time they pick the egg they can immediately answer the question inside. If they are young and very chatty, then try the “would you rather questions” to keep each answer short. They are much faster to answer so you can get right back to practicing. You can also have them answer the question with their violin in playing position ready for their next task if they are super wiggly!




Need this activity to be extra fast? Put all the “would you rather” fast questions in one color of egg and the "opened-ended" questions in a different color. Then you have them pick the fast answer questions during the lesson and save one special open-ended question egg for the end that they can answer while packing up their instrument and getting ready to go.


If time is not an issue, the best questions to use are OPEN-ENDED ones. They can't just answer "yes" or "no" but have to give at least a full sentence. Those are the best questions to learn the most about each other!



Have an Easter Egg Hunt!


After opening an egg and answering the question, set the egg aside in a pile. Collect them during your practice that day or week. At the end, once all the eggs are empty, fill them up with a sweet treat and have an Easter egg hunt to celebrate. Make sure to keep emphasizing to your player their "hard work" when you notice their egg pile getting bigger and bigger!!!


Here are my questions for you to fill your plastic eggs with. Have FUN during your Easter practices and enjoy getting to know your child better.

“Would you Rather” fast questions PDF   
Open-ended “Getting to Know You Questions” PDF  



Do you have a special hunt prepared every year?


Instead of the jelly beans or chocolate eggs, I wanted a slightly healthier version so I used chocolate-covered raisins and peanuts one year and called them bunny poops! Well, what a HIT! To this day, even though my kids are now adults, they still insist I do the bunny poop hunt! And bonus, in order to put the candy poops in a trail on the floor the entire house floor was swept and scrubbed cleaned like a kitchen plate! Now, who does want that?


You never know, maybe these practice eggs will become a NEW family tradition for you.





When searching on Amazon for ideas, I found packages of plastic eggs that come with little random toys, which are another added level of fun for children that love a surprise!


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