Getting Started – Parent Guide

Parent Participation

Parents are expected to help their children follow the instructions on their practice sheets and complete their Tonic Tutor games on a weekly basis. The expectation that a child will accurately follow instructions and practice sufficiently on their own is neither productive nor realistic. However, helping during practice time doesn’t need to come at the expense of your child’s autonomy. Try asking your child to demonstrate a prep step from their practice sheet. For example, “Can you show me how to count the rhythm out loud?” or, “Can you teach me how to find the hand positions?” You can also reinforce listening skills by verifying, “Great job playing with a steady pulse!” or, “Yes, I did hear the change from soft to loud.”

Using Your Practice Sheet

As you complete the practice steps for each song or activity, please check the appropriate box on your sheet. Alternatively, you may write in the amount of time spent on each item. When you bring your completed practice sheet to the next lesson and demonstrate that you followed the prep steps at home, you will earn a sticker on your star chart.

The Music Binder

Please bring a binder (recommended) or folder with your practice sheet and music to the lesson every week. Organizing the binder in reverse chronological order is recommended, with one tab for practice sheets and a second for your music.

Tonic Tutor

Tonic Tutor is an online service that allows students to practice music reading, aural, rhythm, and other important musical skills through interactive games. Each week, Tonic Tutor will generate new games to be completed before your next lesson. To set up Tonic Tutor, enter the activation info on your practice sheet into the login fields. Once activated, you may change your username and password.  If I see you have completed your assigned games, you will earn another sticker on your star chart!

Star Charts

The star amounts listed on the back page are cumulative. In other words, to earn two stars you will need to have met the 2-star criteria in addition to the 1-star criteria. The average student who practices as instructed and completes their Tonic Tutor games will earn two stars per week. On special occasions when a student is particularly high achieving, they will be awarded with three stars!


Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or technical difficulties. I will be happy to assist you!

Star Chart Criteria

The star amounts listed below are cumulative. In other words, to earn two stars you will need to have met the 2-star criteria in addition to the 1-star criteria.

1 Star

  • Brought practice sheet to the lesson and has checkmarks showing at least one day of practice.
  • Correctly performed one or more prep-steps picked at random from practice sheet.

2 Stars

  • Completed weekly Tonic Tutor assignment.
  • Completed any additional homework assignments.

3 Stars

  • Exceeded expectations by a significant amount!
  • Teacher was shrieking with delight!
  • We all jumped up and started dancing!