How Model Recordings Can Transform Your Students' Performance
Model practice recordings allow students to practice at home in a way that makes it more interesting than simply playing alone. It also provides a very realistic view of how well they have progressed on their part, since they have to perform to a target tempo.
Setting your students up with SmartMusic or playing recordings for them (alfred.com/downloads) can be invaluable tools!
Model practice recordings provide the following benefits:
Students hear the correct pitches to their part, which assist in audiating the correct pitches as they perform and with playing with more accurate intonation.
Many times, students have a concept for rhythm that is accurate, but they do not practice playing those rhythms to a steady beat and never develop consistency until they play with either a recording or metronome.
Students hear how their part interacts with others.
Students hear how to treat their part stylistically in terms of articulation.
Students hear how dynamic contrasts affect a piece's performance and can become more aware of them.
The Detriments of Model Recordings:
Playing the students a professional or collegiate level of performance on the same piece can set unrealistic expectations and even be demoralizing.
Model recordings must be used in conjunction with some kind of organized effort to teach tonal and rhythm literacy.
Students tend to play through pieces from beginning to end with the recording, glossing over the portions of the piece that they could not perform accurately.
To read more ideas, check out Thomas J. West Music's blog: How Model Recordings Can Transform Your Students' Performance
Thanks goes to Thomas J. West Music for letting us use his blog!
Thomas J. West is an active music educator, composer, adjudicator, clinician, and award-winning blogger.
Alfred has the largest selection of titles on SmartMusic, including methods, play-alongs, and full performance pieces. Check out alfred.com/SmartMusic to learn more!