• Emily Wolfram

Ideas for staying busy, learning, and having a little fun with the cello while stuck at home


Here are some ideas to freshen up your cello time while school is closed and you are at home. Let me know how it goes—share your practice selfies, funny practice recordings, new lyrics, or any other fun result of changing up your practicing.


Enjoy!


  1. Track your practice time. Can you practice 5 days in a row? 10 days in a row? 100 days in a row? Use these weekly/monthly practice charts. Or use this 100-days practice chart.

  2. Memorize one of your pieces or a part of a piece.

  3. Make up words to the melody in one of your pieces. Or learn the words to a Suzuki Book 1 piece from this website.

  4. Practice in a different room—explore the acoustics of your house!

  5. Create a story to go along with one of your pieces.

  6. Pick a short story or children's book and choose music and cello sound effects to go along with narration.

  7. Record your practice session with audio and/or video. You will learn some interesting things from watching and hearing yourself play!

  8. Play the cello for someone special on the phone, Skype, or Facetime.

  9. Start your favorite song on a different note and see if you can figure out the rest of it.

  10. Sing note names while you play.

  11. Practice in slow motion.

  12. Practice a small section really fast.

  13. Create an animal sound on your instrument.

  14. Practice in front of a mirror.

  15. Practice with your eyes closed.

  16. Make a video of yourself performing in a funny costume.

  17. Create new rhythms for one of your pieces or a familiar song.

  18. Play "name that tune" for someone in your family.

  19. Give a candlelight concert.

  20. Set a goal to reach during your practice session and decide on a reward to give yourself when you reach that goal.

  21. Compose a song.

  22. Perform for your pet.

  23. Play a "recital" for your family.

  24. Take a "practice selfie."

  25. Serenade your family chef while he or she prepares dinner.

  26. Send a cello telegram to a family member or friend.

  27. See how long you can hold a note with one bow. See if you can sing that same note for longer.

  28. Practice with a timer for each part of your lesson assignment. For example: 8 minutes for scales, 6 minutes for May Song, 5 minutes for Perpetual motion, etc.

  29. Review your previous songs. Are they still as great as the last time you played them?

  30. Play along with the CD piano accompaniment for the Suzuki pieces.

  31. How many pieces can you play from start to finish without stopping in 3 minutes?

  32. Sing or whistle one of your pieces from start to finish without stopping. Then do it from memory.

  33. Use a metronome for a piece you usually don't use one for.

  34. Explore new music and try sight-reading. Check out compositions featuring the cello at IMSLP.org.

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