I'll be heading back to class on Monday, just like many of you, and I will probably be greeting many students who have not done very much practicing over the break. My first priority is to get students back in shape! It's a perfect time to get down to basics and carefully drill technique such as finger patterns and bowing.
This video works great for introducing the week: GET FIT FOR THE NEW YEAR. We can talk about appropriate practice and how sloppy practice doesn't do any good...like eating junk food while working out at a gym.
I will be passing out the following assignment to my high school orchestra. They will be required to work on these exercises every day during the week as part of their practice routine. I customized the assignment (F Major, excerpts) to coordinate with the next piece we are learning - Andante from Symphony No 4 by Mendelssohn, arranged by Robert Frost.