ESMA’s 100 day practice challenge
Students aren’t the only ones who need regular practice—teachers need it too. I recently started a #100DayPracticeChallenge with some fellow Suzuki teachers. It’s simple: practice 100 days in a row.
And you know what? That’s something I’ve (surprisingly) never done.
As I was preparing for the challenge, I realized that it was something the entire studio could share. A practice challenge—whether it’s 7 days, 30 days, a 100 days, whatever—is a great way to encourage practice, inspire learning, and get back into a good practice groove after a break (such as summer or the holidays).
My whole studio is now counting up to 100 days of practice. Some students are doing 100 days in a row like I am, and other students are just counting each day they practice.
How do you keep track of practice? Bead chains!
To help each of us keep track of our practice progress, I’ve set up bead chains in the welcome room at the entrance to the studio. The chains are simple—just a length of string with a name tag at one end, and a loop tied at the other end for hanging on a small hook. (I’ve hung these pretty high so our Little Notes babies and toddlers can’t get them.)
When a student comes in for their weekly lesson, we go over how many days they practiced during the week since their previous lesson. At the beginning of their lesson, the student picks out their new beads.
For days 1-4 that they’ve practiced over the past week, they get a round bed. For days 5-7, they get special star beads. After we finish the lesson, the student strings on their new beads as they leave the studio for a new practice week.
What happens when I get to 100?
First, congratulate yourself! You made it. If you’ve been keeping notes, take time to look at the progress you made in 100 days. Or take a short video every 10 days of what you’ve been working on. Too often, we are putting in hard work and it’s hard to see the progress. Celebrating those successes can be a huge motivator.
For our studio, we’ll be celebrating our 100 days of practice with a party in April after Spring Break. There will be prizes for anyone who does 100 days in a row as well as for the first 5 students to reach 100.
If you haven’t started your practice challenge yet, let’s talk about it in your next lesson! As for me, I have a bead to earn—time to practice!