Pensive Practice is a set of cards designed to enhance practice time for intermediate to advanced students. They will help piano students to practice smarter, more thoughtfully, and more creatively by assigning tasks and asking questions to get students really thinking about what they are doing during their practice time.
There are 100 cards included in the pack, which are divided into 5 categories;
Jumble - mixing up practice orders and techniques to ensure the piano student is not practicing from "start to finish" each time, but rather giving attention to areas that need it in balanced manner
Rhythm - helps the student to see and practice the rhythm in new and fun ways
Style - challenges based on the style and musicality of the piece
Theory - questions and assignments to further explore the structure of the piano music
Memory - probably the toughest of the categories, these practice prompts will test the 'mental', not just the 'muscle' memory of the student to help alleviate those pesky memory slips that can happen under pressure
I designed these cards specifically to be used by adult and teenage piano students, there are no childish illustrations or wordings so as not to alienate the older piano student. Younger students can also use the cards very successfully, but may need a parent’s or teacher’s help to read the cards. Students should already be familiar with the terms below to use all the cards successfully.
You can print as many copies of the Pensive Practice cards as you like to use with your own students. You are not however, permitted to sell, redistribute or send the files to anyone else.
Pensive Practice cards are set up to print on your own printer. The download includes pdf with or without cutting lines, so you can use whichever is easiest for you. The cards are sized to print on precut business card sheets (such as avery business cards) for extra convenience, but you can also print them on regular card and cut them apart yourself. There are also two different versions of the cards, one using American terminology, and one using UK/International terminology so you can use whichever suits you.
Major pentascales (five finger scale patterns)
Most of the cards do not require any extra materials, however for full use of some cards you may need the following:
Blank staff paper/blank manuscript
Tracing paper (or any other transparent paper)
Recording equipment (such as a smartphone)
Metronome (or metronome app)
Suggestions for Use
The Pensive Practice cards are very adaptable, below are just a few ways they could be used.
Students can use these as a complete set to draw from randomly during their practice time. One per day, or just whenever they feel their practice growing monotonous and mindless.
Piano teachers could keep a complete set, sending a few randomly or selectively drawn cards home with the student each week, and exchanging them at the following lesson.
During lesson time a card could be drawn at random and the student and teacher could work on it together.
Teachers could assign 5/6 cards from one “category” at each lesson, as the student progresses through the piece. First Jumble, then Rhythm, then Theory, then Style and finally Memory; each set given in this manner would be progressively more challenging.
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