In addition to my general interest in music practice I am always on the lookout for new ideas to improve our own Music Practice Diary. The music practice planner appears to be widely used and therefore worth further investigation.
The Musician”s Practice Planner is one of those books that delivers exactly what you expect. The subtitle – ”A weekly lesson planner for music students” tells you most of what you need to know about the book.
The book comes spiral bound a fact not to be undervalued. The spiral binding makes the process of opening out, laying flat and writing in the book much, much easier than other book bindings and is therefore a definite plus. On the downside the look and design of the cover are for me a little drab and a bit more excitment, colour and paper quality would not have gone amiss.
After a very brief explanation of how to fill in the planner pages the books moves to the planner proper. There are 37 lessons each with a double page spread – enough for a year of lessons. The left hand page of each lesson is given over to lesson notes and has space for the teacher to note down specific goals. There”s also space here for written and musical notes and next lesson details. The right of each double page spread is for the student to complete with details of their weekly practice. For each day the student can enter what they practiced, a metronome mark and the time they spent as well as a total time spent for that day.
Overall I would say that this planner is a big improvement on a simple notebook, giving more structure to notes made in the lesson and at home. I do think it has a couple of minor shortfalls however. Firstly the daily practice notes seem to be concerned with time spent – not an approach I would wholly recommend. Secondly there is no guidance for the student on how they should practice.
Given a choice I think there are other better practice notebooks on the market, however this book may well suit many teachers and students. Again to re-iterate, it is a major improvement on a simple notebook and at a few pounds/dollars is good value for money.
Musician”s Practice Planner, (1999, Molto Music, ISBN: 978-0967401208) is available from: [amazon asin=0967401208&template=htp price]