What is Practice Club?

FiddleQuest Practice Club is an on-line gathering where students work on the songs and skills they are learning in lessons.

 

Each weekday, a Practice Coach will lead students through a practice session on Zoom of songs and skills they are working on in lessons with their teacher.

Practice Club will…

  • Play through tunes and skills as a group

  • Have individuals demonstrate what they have done

  • Address specific questions (e.g. “Should I use a low 2nd finger?”)

  • Model a practice routine to students

 

Practice Club is the ideal supplement for students with a teacher but in need of support and encouragement between lessons.

When does Practice Club meet?*

When will it start?

September 21.

What is the cost?

Practice Club costs $15 a month to participate. Students are able to participate as frequently as they wish. They can participate in different levels if they want to explore or review material. In addition, students can also participate in the daily Homebound Fiddle Sessions.

* new times are being added (see below)

When it is 3 pm PST (Oregon),

it is...

  • 6 pm in Florida (EST)

  • 6 pm in Bolivia

  • 11 pm in London

  • 12 am in Barcelona & Poland

Can I start a new Practice Club?

Yes! Don’t see a time that works for you? Have friends that want to practice together? You can start a new Practice Club!

 

If we can get a group of 6 or more together, we can connect the new group with a FiddleQuest coach and get your club started. 

Here are some clubs that people have proposed and the number of students interested so far. Submit your request below.

Proposed Practice Club Times

I am the...

New Practice Club Time Request

Frequently asked questions

How does the Practice Club work alongside what the teacher is doing?


Practice Club will run on a consistent schedule (week 1 of the cycle = song 1). If a teacher has a student that shows interest in participating (particularly a student that does not have a strong history of practicing), the teacher can choose to work alongside that schedule by creating a practice page that includes songs and skills that are in Practice Club.




What if a student has completed the song that the Practice Club is working on?


One of the surprises that we learned from Homebound is the willingness for students to re-learn songs they already know. That is, even if they knew a song, young students often do not mind going back over them phrase by phrase! But for the ones that do not like reviewing songs or skills (and there are many!), students have the choice to jump into the next level for a challenge. For instance, consider a student who has completed the first 8 songs of Level 3. Let’s say that Practice Club is only in the 2nd week of the 12 week cycle; that is, they are on song 2 of Level 3. Depending on the eagerness and confidence of the student, that student may choose to jump to song 2 of Level 4, or return to previously learned songs to build fluency.




What if a student does not complete the song by the end of the week?


While mastering a song is univerally enjoyed by all musicians, Homebound Fiddle Sessions demonstrated that students get tremendous enjoyment from working on a song with others, whether or not they complete it by the end of the week. If students are enjoying Practice Club, they can keep moving on to the next song -- whether the song is completed or not -- and then come back and complete the song on the next cycle.




Can students without a teacher participate?


The majority of FiddleQuest students work with a FiddleQuest teacher. But, as FiddleQuest is available to anyone, it is possible that some fiddlers without a FQ teacher will want to participate. If a student participates and does not have a teacher, we will communicate with them (or their parents) to find out if there is a teacher in their area. If not, then we will be happy to connect them with teachers that teach remotely. We will gently and consistently educate parents about the most important component of a successful outcome in learning the violin: a solid relationship with a good teacher. Remote teaching is definitely an option if a live teacher is unavailable, but choosing to have your child learn without a teacher is like planting a garden and choosing to save money by not watering it.




Why was the Practice Club started?


Children enjoy learning music primarily for its capacity to connect them to other people. That innate need to be with others is one of the reasons playing or practicing music between lessons can be a challenge. For many students, there are no other musicians at home to play with. While the FiddleQuest App provides the tools for students to train their ears and learn new songs and skills, most students still want to connect with other musicians -- particularly musicians their age. FiddleQuest started the Homebound Fiddle Sessions at the start of the Covid shutdown as a way to give students more opportunities to make music (and connections) while they were away from school. Homebound has since developed into a reliable weekday gathering, and students of all ages and all walks of life have enjoyed coming together to learn music. Feedback about this online environment from parents and students has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly in contrast to playing in isolation. The positive feedback for Homebound sparked the idea that sessions devoted to practicing songs might also be effective. Practice Club works with students that want some additional encouragement and motivation to play between lessons. It is not designed to be a replacement for lessons, nor is it intended to provide the sort of one-one-one encouragement, relationship and structure that a skilled, caring teacher provides. The primary goal of FiddleQuest is to cultivate a learning environment that encourages the growth of intrinsic motivation in students. The teacher represents a substantial part of the team that builds intrinsic motivation, but another major part of the team is the community, which FiddleQuest is also building online through Homebound and now (hopefully!) through the Practice Club. We will continually adjust our efforts to make sure students and teachers have what they need to flourish as fiddlers.




Who will lead the Practice Clubs?


Practice Clubs will be hosted by a Practice Coach. Laurel Diskin & Ross Debardelabem will be the teachers who help pilot this new program as Senior Coaches. Laurel is a music educator, professional musician, and music librarian in Los Angeles, CA. She has an MM in Violin Performance and a Clear California teaching credential from Cal State LA and has taught for 20 years. Ross is a violin and viola teacher and performer and has a Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Miami and 15 years of teaching experience.




Can students become Coaches?


Yes. The Senior Coaches will mentor middle and high school age students to eventually coach a Club on their own. Down the road, if there is enough interest, parents can form smaller Practice Clubs at times that work well with their schedule and request a trained Junior Coach to work with the students.During the pilot phase of the program, FiddleQuest will be scouting for prospective coaches within the FQ middle and high school student population.




Can my child participate in other levels above or below their current level?


Students are encouraged to begin with the Practice Club in the level in which they are working with their teacher. But students are welcome to join any of the other groups to either review or challenge themselves. Teachers (and parents) do not need to worry about students trying out songs above their current level. FiddleQuest encourages students to explore and try out songs from any level -- that freedom to explore is highly motivating to students. The final assessment of when a song is ‘complete’ is, as always, at the teacher’s discretion.





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What is the teaching schedule?

Practice Club will run on a 12 week cycle (except for Level 1 which will run on a 6 week cycle). Each cycle will cover the songs and skills that are in that level. You can view the schedule by clicking below.