• The practice challenge is an important annual event for the DGSP and is required for all students. The teachers use this time to train students how to practice effectively and assess how their students are progressing. We make this exercise fun by offering prizes and using a popular cultural theme, with this year’s being Pokemon. Click here to view past challenges.

  • There are two divisions, Gym Leaders (students in beginning and intermediate classes, Suzuki students who are not yet to Minuet No. 1, and private lesson students who have been studying for less than two years) and Trainers (students in Junior Orchestra class, Dorothy Gerber Youth Orchestra, Suzuki students in Minuet No. 1 or above, and private lesson students who have been playing for at least two years). The DGSP teachers reserve to right to adjust which division is appropriate for students.

  • The first round of the practice challenge will start on February 1 and will end on February 28. Students should record every practice session on the practice log provided by their teacher. Students who advance to the final round will be given a new practice chart and will participate in an additional week of the challenge from March 8-14. The final leaderboard and prizes will be announced before the start of Spring Break.


  • Practice time does not include classes, lessons, or rehearsals. Practice, for the sake of this challenge at least, is defined as time playing the music individually, as assigned by the teacher. If a student takes a break of at least three minutes, they should write down the conclusion of their time and then write down the time they resume for a new practice session. If a student or parent has questions about this definition, please contact Dr. Reimer.

  • The official scoring for Pokemon Training combines total minutes practiced and total days practiced. It is more encouraged to practice a little every day than a lot on one day.

  • Parents and Guardians, to be fair to all, please help your child to be accurate in writing down the times that they practice. Rarely will a student be instructed by the DGSP to practice for more than 30-40 minutes at one time, so lengthy times on their log will raise concern and potentially prompt an inquiry from Dr. Reimer.

  • Be sure to support your child's efforts by submitting a picture of their practice log by the deadline at the end of each week. See the Practice Logs section below for additional details.

  • Check back here in the Scoring section or Facebook to see progress!  


Practice Logs


  • Practice time should be recorded by the time that you start and finish your practicing (e.g. 7:30-8:00) and total minutes that you practice each day. If you practice more than once in a day (or take a break between two practice sessions), write your time as 7:30-8:00, 8:55-9:15. Remember, classes, lessons, and ensemble rehearsals do NOT count towards daily practice.

  • See Practice Tips to make sure your practice includes quality as well as quantity.

  • Remember! It is better to practice a little every day than a lot in one day. ​

  • Exercise good sportsmanship by keeping an accurate record of your practice time and have your parent/guardian sign at the bottom of the page when it is ready to be turned in.



Parent Involvement

  • Encourage your child to practice to their full potential. Whether practicing with them for younger students, or monitoring their practice time for older students, any support helps. For more information about how your child should be practicing, see Practice Tips.

  • Be sure to be checking and signing your child's practice log before submitting it by the deadline each week.

  • Practice logs may be submitted one of two ways:

    • Students will receive a paper copy of a practice log in class. To submit a paper log, please take a picture and then either text or e-mail to Dr. David Reimer at 616.828.8321 or

    • If an electronic method is preferred, click here to fill out an electronic version then submit by e-mail to

  • Practice logs must be submitted by 6:00PM on Saturday at the end of each practice week. The first log is due by 6:00PM on Saturday, February 6.


  • Help your student check their progress on the leaderboard here on the website, or on Facebook!



Practice Tips

Seek Help Ask a teacher for help in how to practice and ask a parent for help in
reminding you to get started each day.

Plan Find a good time in your schedule to practice every day.

Stretch Gently prepare your fingers, hands, and arms to play.

Technique Practice good fundamentals by using proper technique on a scale or review song. Technique includes posture (feet, arms, hands, head), Left Hand (straight wrist, accurate and curved fingers), Right Hand (bow hold, wrist, elbow, shoulder), and Special Skills (bow styles, vibrato, shifting).


Divide & Conquer Find sections of your piece that are challenging and practice the specific skill that needs improvement.

Repetition Build a new habit by repeating something correctly 10-20 times.

​ Perform When you perfect all the elements of the song, imagine you are performing in a concert or perform for your friends or family.

Note Reading Practice identifying note names and rhythms.


Winners of the challenge will have the opportunity to earn exciting prizes generously donated by local businesses. Keep checking back as prizes get added!

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Petoskey Courtyard by Marriott

 A one-night stay

Dorothy Gerber Music Program

Summer program scholarships

Pizza Hut

Charlevoix location
gift card

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Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra

Concert tickets

The Cummings Quartet

Chance to perform with the Cummings Quartet

The Taffy Barrel

Gift certificates


Revolution Bike

Gift certificates

SHAR Music


Sunshine Charters

A sailboat ride out of Charlevoix

Rocking Horse
Toy Company

Gift certificates


Gift certificates

Great Lakes Center for the Arts

Three tickets to see Docktor Kaboom or the Vienna Boys

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Boyne Co-op

Gift certificate

Fresh Air Aviation

Sky tour with
Fresh Air Aviation

Charlevoix Cinema

Gift certificates

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Dorothy Gerber Strings Program

4233 Main St.

Bay Harbor, MI 49770


Dr. David Reimer, Music Director


Thank You
Community Partners


The DGSP is grateful to the Charlevoix County Community Foundation for their support in providing scholarships for students interested in individual lessons.

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© 2021 Dorothy Gerber Strings Program