3 Reasons to Record Your Guitar Student’s Practice
1. The Practice Log shows students you care.
When you check your students PL they realise that their practice and therefore progress matter to you. Turn that around and think of the teacher who doesn’t check student practice. They are showing no interest in what really matters which sends the student a clear message that they don’t really care even if they do. Its you actions that count not your words.
2. The Practice Log is an early warning system.
If you are checking your students PL each week you become instantly aware of any drop in practice which is usually a sign of trouble. Teachers who do not monitor practice from week to week miss these early signs and by the time they really the student has stopped practicing its often too late and comes in the form of an email or text message announcing they are quitting lessons.
3. The Practice Log keeps it real for your student.
Imagine if your credit card company or phone company didn’t record transactions and calls. We all know how it feels to get a huge bill and feel that sinking feeling saying “this can’t be right” only to check the bill to see its actually correct. Its a well known fact that our memories are unreliable. Students will often feel they have put in a lot of effort for months but are frustrated at their lack of progress. Keeping an accurate practice log keeps things in perspective. Students get to see quite clearly how much time they have really put in. The fact is when they log their practice they are much more realistic about expectations. This is good for you as their teacher because one of the main reasons students drop out is due to unrealistic expectations.
How often should you check the Practice Log?
Every single week without fail. The PL is the students pulse and you need to be monitoring it. When you take your eye off their practice they will likely stop practicing. Remember consistency starts with the teacher.
How do I get students to fill in their practice logs?
Practice logs are much like everything else. You need to set the rules of the game from day one. Explain that practice logs MUST be filled in at home each day. Make a big deal of it and do not accept the excuses. Students who do not fill in the PL are showing early signs of dropping out so you need to address it now. Students seek teachers for structure and guidance and if they are not following your advice something is wrong and you need to dig a little deeper. A student who does not fill in their PL probably does not understand its importance. Studies show that tracking progress in itself makes a huge difference. Check it every week. Make a big deal of it. When they realise how important you treat the PL they will almost always respond.