How to Make Lessons Fun Without Spending Any Money!
Toilet Paper Tubes
These can be decorated with stickers and markers to be personalized for each student. (A great way to keep one sibling occupied during the other’s lesson!Hold it over your student’s left shoulder and practice a straight bow.
Put a small wad of tissue paper in the “mouse hole” (space between the left thumb and first finger underneath the violin). It will give a tell-tale crinkle when your student starts squeezing their thumb. This is great physical reminder for kids to loosen up if they have a hard time realizing when they’re tense.
When repeating a tricky passage (over and over and over), turn on the flashlight when the repetition was perfect. If you have a headlamp with a red light and a white light, you could use the red light for “try again!” and the white light for “great work!”
Set up four tupperware lids in a small baseball diamond. When they play their piece correctly they can advance to the next base. Four perfect repetitions and they get all the way home. If they blow you away with an amazing sound, give them a home run!
In a previous post on making practicing fun, I wrote about using dice to choose the number of repetitions, but the possibilities here are endless! Make a list of rhythms beforehand associated with the number they roll, then they use that rhythm in their scale warm up. For example, if they roll a 3 they may have to play their scale in triplets. You can also use this same idea to pick a position for shifting exercises, a review song to play, or their key for the week for scale practice. I especially like this last choice for my advanced students. This way they don’t hate me for making them practice C# minor. (Insert evil laugh. Mua ha ha ha.)