20 Ways to Review Your Suzuki Pieces

20 Ways to Review your Suzuki Pieces

 

If you’re a Suzuki parent you have probably heard how important review is.

Review sets the foundation on which more advanced pieces can be built. It allows us to play with other people easily & it helps make our technical skills easier because we revisit them over and over.

Sometimes the review process can get a little stale and it’s good to find new ways to keep it fresh and interesting.

Younger students may be more motivated by games & dice or drawing cards where teens (at least in my studio) tend to be more motivated by social situations or using review to accomplish something. That being said some of these ideas will appeal to all ages.

Leave your favorite ideas in the comments!

Here are 20 different ways to review to get you started . . .

 

1. A Chart  –  this will have the pieces you know spread out & scrambled up in a different order for each day of the week. You can find great pre-made charts on Pinterest and by doing a google search.  Here is one some of my students have been using this fall https://www.pinterest.com/pin/95631192062388692/

For Variety

2. The Jar Method –  Put all the pieces you need to review into a jar and have a 2nd empty jar to put them in once you play them. This way it feels like a game and you’re sure to get to everything. You could even have a different Jar for each book

3.  Pre-Made Practice Dice – you can find preprinted dice with review pieces printed on them for cello, piano and vioin at the Practice Shoppe

4.  Standard Dice – Pick a book and then roll 2 or 3 Dice to see what piece number you will play.  You can also assign each song a number and roll to see which number comes up to determine the piece played.

5.  Draw a Card – write the name of each piece on notecard and draw one at a time to review.

6.  Around the House Review – Go to a different part of the house or a different room to play each review song for the day. If the weather allows play outside!

Social Ideas

7.  Toy Concert: Line up stuffed animals, action figures or dolls and play a piece for each one.

8.  Family Concert: Give a Review concert to family members at Home.

9.  Community Service Concert: plan a review concert at a local retirement home – extra practice on the pieces chosen to be performed will help with motivation to review.

10.  Skype or Facetime Concert: Play review pieces for grandparents or family members who live far away through Skype or Facetime.

11. Review with a Friend: get together with someone else who also plays and review together. One person can play duets if they are at different levels.

Ideas Using Creativity 

12. Musical Animal Review: Write down the name (or add a picture) of different animals and have your child/student draw a card to play in the style of that animal – Elephant and Dolphin will sound very different & this will help build musicality and creativity

13. Color Review – (I saw this in one of Brian Lewis’ Master Classes a long time ago). Use paint sample cards and have students pick the color (or shade of color) they think best fits the piece and then play it with that “color”. You can also write the names of colors on a note card and have students draw them randomly.

14. Create a Drawing: Each time a review piece is played add one more piece to the drawing.  The child can draw or the parent can draw and surprise the child with the picture at the end.

Ideas to Encourage More Repetitions

15. Use a timer: put the timer on for 10 minutes (or another amount of time appropriate for your child’s age & levle)  and play as many songs as you can (well!) before the timer goes off.

16.  Use Counters – find coins, small beads, rocks , little toy animals  . . . whatever you have around. Determine how many review songs will be played that day and after each one a new item gets to walk across the stand or table until the whole pile moves. You can use all kinds of things to count which helps with variety if your child craves it.

17. 100 times Coloring Books – Young Musician’s sells a few books called Color Me 100  that have detailed pictures for students to color in each time they review a piece (See a Violin Book 1 version here). With all the adult coloring books out these days it would be easy to find a coloring book with lots of little segments to color in each time a review piece is played.

Games:

18.  Review Boardgame: Download a blank Board game template & fill in review songs & activities. All you need is dice and a game piece and you’re all set to play! Pinterest is full of great templates if you search for one.

19. Review Spinners: I recently came across a blog post about creating your own review spinners (click here).  Modify an old spinner from a game with the names of review pieces and let students spin to choose a piece.

20.  Plastic Egg Hunt: Take old plastic Easter eggs and put one review song inside each one. You can even hide the songs around the room for young children to find to make it a game.

I’d love to hear your ideas too!

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12 thoughts on “20 Ways to Review Your Suzuki Pieces

    1. Thanks Margaret – would love to hear if there are any your students or kids really love after trying them out!

  1. Thanks! I have a student in mind for the color me 100 chart. I’m especially interested in non-random review strategies that ensure each piece gets played in a reasonable time frame… And with purpose!
    Separate thread: I feel very spotty in addressing review in the lesson. I always hear review pieces of course, but not in a systematic way other than when prepping for a concert, and the work we do on them is forgotten if that particular piece doesn’t get reviewed in the lesson again for a while.

    1. Yes – some students really love the coloring books – they’re great!

      How to hear review as a teacher is a good topic!

  2. Great list! I have a student who likes to face a different wall of the room for each piece, then alternate who leads them.

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful posts!

    When my kids were smaller they really enjoyed doing a simple thing after each review, like lighting a candle (blow them out at the end and make a wish!) or eating a blueberry. We still use bead counters a lot too.

    One of my favorite techniques for repetitions is using a balance scale to track correct and incorrect iterations of whatever is being practiced – it emphasizes attention to getting it (whatever you define “it” as) right the majority of the time instead of just plowing through a piece mindlessly.

  4. These are great ideas! I also love the app “Decide Now” which students can use to create their own spinner on their smartphone or tablet. As they learn more pieces, it’s easy to add them to the spinner.

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