2024 Practice Challenge

Final Leaderboards:


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 to practice effectively and assess their students' progress. We make this exercise fun by offering prizes and using a popular theme, with this year’s being LEGO.

There are five divisions in this year’s practice challenge. The DGSP teachers will assign and adjust the appropriate division for each student. 

  • Duplo - Pretwinkle Division: Pretwinkle Suzuki students (before Perpetual Motion) 

  • Technic - Suzuki Division: Suzuki advanced students 

  • Creator - Beginner Division: Beginner classes and first-year traditional private lesson students 

  • Expert - Intermediate Division: Intermediates/Junior Orchestra and traditional private lessons students in their second+ year of study 

  • Master Builder - Advanced Division: Dorothy Gerber Youth Orchestra and High School Orchestra students

Check back to see your progress in the scoring section or Facebook to see progress.

For Parents

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.

Submitting Practice Logs

  • 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 dreimer@greatlakescfa.org
  • Practice logs must be submitted by 6:00PM on Saturday at the end of each practice week.
  • Help your student check their progress on the leaderboard here on the website, or on Facebook!
  • Questions? Contact Dr. David Reimer at 616.828.8321 or dreimer@greatlakescfa.org​​

Print a Practice Log


  • 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 assigned by the teacher. If a student takes a break of at least three minutes, they should pause their practice record. If a student or parent has questions about this definition, please contact Dr. Reimer 
  • Parents and Guardians, to be fair to all, please help your child to be accurate in recording the times that they practice. Rarely will a student be instructed by the DGSP to practice for more than 30-40 minutes at a time, so lengthy times on their log will raise concern and potentially prompt an inquiry from Dr. Reimer. 
  • It is important to treat this as PRACTICE, not as PERFORMANCE. What matters for scoring is to demonstrate an understanding of how to practice efficiently and effectively. That includes taking small chunks apart and solving difficulties along with repetition and includes attention to a specific technique, ie. working on bow arm/hand, vibrato, shifting, etc. Students should work on a scale and one section of a piece of music. If there are any questions, please talk with your teacher and/or Dr. Reimer.

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.

2023 Practice Challenge Prizes:

Courtyard by Marriott (family overnight)

Sunshine Charters (sailing tour)


Charlevoix Pizza Hut

Northern Lights Recreation

BC Lanes

Pirate’s Cove Mini-Golf

Charlevoix Cinema

Maple Ridge Iberians (horse riding lessons)

The Cummings Quartet (playing with a professional string quartet)

Dorothy Gerber Strings Program (scholarships to summer programs)

Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra (family concert tickets)

Mancino’s Pizza

Boyne Coop (fishing kit)

Know Way Out Escape Room

Northern Michigan Cinemas

Taffy Barrel

Revolution Bike

Crooked River Lodge Pool

Avalanche Bay Water Park

A13 Creative (photo shoot)


Check back soon for 2024 prizes!