Encouraging Students to Listen to Their Playing

As part of my practice incentive theme this year, students have the option to do an audio or video recording of them playing one of their pieces. Just about every student today has the tools to do recordings on their own – via a digital camera with video recording capabilities, a phone, an ipod or mp3 player, laptop with a built-in or external mic, etc. Another one of the options they have as part of the theme is to complete a Personal Performance Evaluation. I usually encourage students to select these two options in conjunction with each other.

The form is a tool that they can use to critique their playing after they’ve recorded it. It has a list of 11 specific areas that they are to rate on a scale of 1 to 10, and then a generic, but important question: “What could be done to make the performance more musical?” (a question I’ve been using with my students ever since attending the wonderful session by Cindy Tseng at the MTNA Conference earlier this year.)

It’s so insightful to see how students rate their playing and what they come up with for the ways to make it more musical! And, most importantly, it’s helping train them to listen to their playing and take responsibility for making improvements and playing more musically. Feel free to download and use the form with your students if you’d like!

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