Monday, February 25, 2013

Music Monday - Bead Counter Excitement

Our family practice rating went WAY up this week. In fact Saturday morning I delayed starting our family job time because the kids decided on their own to practice all at the same time. The youngest pianist practiced on a small electric keyboard (I don't have two pianos) - not the best for all the time practice, but it was fine for one day.

Random Tabs Selected from Random Reinforcement Chart
Random reinforcement has worked wonders this week. In fact my five year old demanded his own chart. I'm not teaching him piano yet, but he has other things he is working on and we use the chart for that.

Pros: lots more practicing,
     fewer reminders needed
Cons: a few tears when the randomness didn't work in their favor
     the toddler likes to pull a chair over to where the charts are and lift the flaps

But, what does this have to do with bead counters you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Midweek a package came in the mail. It contained bead counters for our mini musicians! The musicians were excited..... until the first time they practiced and realized that playing each piece 10 times is more than they were practicing up to this point. Then we had some complaints, but by the next day they were eager to use their new bead counters and play the random reinforcement game again. Win, win in my book. More practicing this week and longer, better practicing this week!
Bead Counters

Bead Counter Close Up - isn't it pretty?

So where can you get a fancy bead counter you ask? I'll tell you. Leslie at The Practice Shoppe has bead counters and other nifty stuff to help make practicing fun. The small pictures on her website don't really do justice to the quality of the bead counters she sells. Things I like about the bead counters:
   1. they are a handmade product
   2. they are super sturdy. Miss Toddler has been carrying them around testing this.
   3. the wire is super thick - not going to get easily bent out of shape
   4. the beads are a nice size - not too small
   5. they are colorful and there are lots of designs to choose from
   6. they are a great toddler toy when not being used for music practice

The bead counters are a great asset to our music program and they would be a great asset to yours. Go visit The Practice Shoppe and find one your musician will love whether it be camo, or dogs, or tie dye the Practice Shoppe has designs for everyone.

Disclaimer: the bead counters were received as part of a trade agreement. The opinions expressed are min and mine only. But get one for your musician and I think you'll like it as much as I like mine!

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