In anticipation of my absence, I uncovered a Practice Challenge I had downloaded from Tim Topham's Inner Circle. Basically, keep track of your practice dates and times. I've extended the challenge to include what you've practiced, and at the end of each week, give yourself a self-lesson. Listen with your ears as you play, critique your performance. Did you keep a steady tempo? Is your staccato crisp? Is your Halloween music suitably Halloween-y?
I'm hoping this will help each of my students stay focused. I'm hoping this will help keep them somewhat accountable to their practice time. I'm hoping that rather than simply playing through their practice pieces and thinking that's enough, they will start to develop some listening skills. And yes, we have a Post-Halloween recital coming up upon my return. I'm hoping that carrot will keep them practicing. I've explained my approach to the parents as well. It's an experiment. Wish us luck!