Miss It? Mark It! Practical Advice for Music Practice.

Miss It? Mark It! Practical Advice for Music Practice.

A good rule is that if something is missed twice during music practice, it needs to be marked.

But how exactly is music “marked?” We musicians have a bad habit of using jargon but not explaining it in a clear way. In fact, there are lots of ways to mark music. Here’s one example from a lesson this past week:

I assigned this A-flat major scale to nine year old Nicolette* (names have been changed). At her lesson one week later, she played it for me, but it was a disaster. I asked her to color the flat notes orange then added a pair of eyeglasses to remind her to “watch out!” Finally, I showed Nicolette that the four flats spell the word BEAD. She thought that was funny. Then she played the scale again and only made one tiny mistake. I wish that I had been there to help her earlier in the week. It took a few minutes to mark the music, but would have saved her much practice time. This is a picture of her music after we marked it:

A-flat major scale

ideas for marking during music practice


Parents, you can use color, pictures, and humor to help your kids with tricky music. All music can be marked with pencil. Ask your teacher if it’s OK to use colors on the method books. In future blogs, I’ll show some other ideas for “marking” music. Marking Part 2….  Marking Part 3