Today I want to show you how to make a handy little gadget to help with piano practice. This practice counter is a great way to help students keep track of repetitions of practice. I’m sure you could find many other uses for it at the piano.
This practice counter uses 10 beads that are strung in a way where the bead stays in it’s position until you are ready to slide it over. The idea is that a student is assigned to practice something 10 times, so they would slide a bead over for each repetition of practice. Of course, you could use it for any number of repetitions. Sometimes, younger students do well with 3 or 5 repetitions. That’s just fine, you simply won’t move all of the beads over.
Here’s what you need:
The nice thing about this project is that you can use what you have. Pretty much any string and medium sized beads will work! You just want to make sure the opening of your beads is big enough to fit both ends of the string at the same time.
Here’s what you do; it’s super easy!
- Cut about 1 yard of string. (You might want to go a little longer if you are using big beads or if you thing your string will fray easily.)
- Fold the string in half and tie an knot approximately 1 inch away from the fold to make a loop.
- String a bead on to one end of the string. Pull the other end of the string through the same bead, going in the opposite direction. This is important, because this is how your beads will stay in place!
- Pull the bead all the way to knot and repeat step 3 with the remaining 9 beads.
- Once all 10 beads are strung, tie a knot on the end and trim the ends of the string.
That’s it! It’s nice having a loop at 1 end so you can hang it or a teacher or parent could loop it around their finger while supervising.
Another idea using this same concept is to create longer counters to represent days of practice. Since it takes 21 days to form a habit, using 21 beads would be a good way to keep track of practicing each day. Or, maybe you want to aim for 30 days of practice!
This would make a great activity to incorporate into a group class or camp!