Practice Games

For great practice charts and other practice ideas check out this website:


"6" things a day - pick 6 things to practice. For example - 10 perfect bow holds (counts as 1 thing), some drill work on the working piece, 3 review pieces, preview for next piece.

Birthday Candle - Light a birthday candle (make some type of holder) and have that be the length of the practice session.

Violin Tour - take the student "on tour" --playing something different in each room of the house (the big tome produced in the bathroom is very exciting!), in a different place in the yard, or at different neighbor's or relative's homes.

Student as Parent - Let the student be the parent for one day of practice. This can have mixed blessings because a parent will often see his own behavior reflected in that of the child's.

25 minutes = 25 cents - practice for 25 minutes, earn 25 cents.

Recital - Plan a recital for stuffed animals, friends, family, etc. and make a program and decorate it. Practice for a week in preparation and let the child decide the pieces that will be played, what favorite cookies will be served, etc. Set up a stage and make a spotlight!

Dice - Roll a dice to determine the number of repetitions of a piece or for drill work (ex - play this section the number of times you roll on the dice.) Or, roll the dice to determine the piece to play. Ex - 1 = Twinkle variation A, 2 = variation B, etc.) Buy a package of math dice - these dice have more sides with higher numbers.

Deck of cards - like the dice game,, only use cards. Assign pieces to each card. Have child pick cards to determine the pieces to play and the order.

Draw a name - write the piece names on pieces of paper. Put in a hat and draw to determine piece to play and order. Or put practice item on paper (bow holds, scales, etc.)

Silly Cards - make silly cards and let child draw a silly card as a reward. Ex - stand on one foot, stick out your tongue, sing the piece, play pizzicato. For example, if child needs to play twinkle and draws "stick out your tongue," must play twinkle with tongue out the whole time. It's quite amusing.

Make a video - regularly video tape your child playing violin. You'll be amazed at the progress they make.

Chip Game - use "chips" (pennies, marbles, any kind of token). Set a goal - for example, keeping thumb bent while playing piece or keeping a good violin posture for entire piece. Give child and parent 5 chips each. If child meets goal, gets a chip from parent. If misses goal, parent gets a chip. Keep playing until someone has all of the chips.

Pre-Twinkle and Book 1 Songs

Rest Postion:


Rest position, feet in line,

Scroll in front, that's mighty fine.


Check your bridge, 'cause it should be

Peeking out at you and me.


Now we learn to take a bow,

Ichi, ni, and san is how


Head Turn and Drop


Hey diddle diddle, the cat has a fiddle,

It sits on your shoulder to play.

Your chin goes whiz (turn chin to left)

And your head goes plop (drop head onto chinrest).

And you play on your fiddle all day--horray!


Getting to Playing Position


Feet apart, good for you!

Swing your violin out too! (child grasps violin on the shoulder under neck)


Now you turn your head around

Point your scroll down at the ground.

(turn head to left and take violin away from body and point scroll down)


Now your violin's a hat,

Oh my goodness, look at that!  (hold violin on top of head)


Get down off there, violin,

Hold it shoulder, Hold it chin.


Bow Hold (rest bow on left shoulder)


Five little fingers, curled around the bow

Pinky dances on the stick, Go, Pinky, Go!


Two middle fingers, two friends together-

Tapping, tapping, tapping light; light as a feather.


Leave a space for Pointer, he wants to sleep all day-

Wake him up, shake him up; now it's time to play.


Thumb is standing on his head, and I'll bet you know where-

Look! Half on the silver, and half on the hair!

(on the word "look", child flips bow over to see thumb)


Variation 1


Spinach green and goopy

Makes me feel so droopy;

Play me something snappy;

Then I'll be so happy!


Variation 2



Suzuki            Says never

be lazy           so practice

and practice      until you

go crazy,           Hey!


Variation 3


Grasshopper, grasshopper,

Put on your read sneakers,

Put on your blue sneakers,

Come out and play with us!


Variation 4


Crocodiles, Alligators,

Never eat their mashed potatoes;

Mashed potatoes are so gooey,

What they want is something chewy.


Monkey Song


I'm a little monkey

climbing up a ladder,

Climbing to the top to

Pick a green banana.


I'm a little monkey,

Climbing down a ladder,

Climbing to the ground to

Eat a green banana.


Lightly Row/ Hey There Mouse


Hey there mouse, in your house,

Better stay inside your house-


Hey there mousie, in your housie,

Someone's waiting just for you!


Pretty Kitty loves you so-

Thinks your just so tasty, oh-


Hey there mousie, in your housie

Someone's waiting just for you!


By Jean Brandt and Kathryn Merrill




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