I write Yo-Yo on a piece when I want it to be worked on without my help.

These are some of the times I might assign a Yo-Yo piece:

  • I run out of lesson time but the student needs one more piece to practice at home.
  • I want to find out exactly what a student can do on their own. This assigned piece would be a much easier one than the student could do with help and preparation.
  • I want to assign a simple technic piece and it doesn’t require lesson time.

Writing “YOYO!” reminds me that I assigned it that way. (It’s so easy to forget otherwise.)

It gives credit to the student and can be quite inspiring. And as my student, Enoch, pointed out, “You can only play with a Yo-Yo by yourself!” 

It can be helpful to be clear with a parent what Yo-Yo means. This may change from week-to-week. Sometimes I mean absolutely no help. Sometimes I say it’s OK to get a little parent help. The most important thing is that I know that when I say no help, the parent won’t try to help secretly. 

If you’re feeling really mischievous, you can tell your student that there is a famous cellist who loved working on his own so much that he changed his name to Yo-Yo.