Last year I ran a year-long incentive called the Wall of Wow, in which students displayed the pieces they had learned on the back of the studio closet door. You can read more about it here, and my evaluation of how it went here. It amazed me how well a little incentive like this built community within the studio and motivated the students to learn.
So I knew I wanted to do something like that again this year. Once again, Pinterest to the rescue. 🙂 I ran across this gem of an idea from Hilton Music Studio and decided to tweak it a little bit to fit my goals.
I decided to award a bead for each piece learned, or in the case of more advanced students, a bead for each page learned. I also award one bead if the practice goal is met for the week. A bead is also given if the student practices and learns the scale, chords and arpeggio assigned for the week.
So far the bead chains have been a huge hit with both girls and boys. The girl featured in the picture above said at her last lesson “I wish I could come twice a week!”. One parent who had to cancel a lesson for medical reasons reported that her kids were very disappointed to miss the lesson. I have noticed a general rise in practicing throughout the week. Yay!
While I try to minimize competition between students as much as possible, the chains provide motivation to earn beads since they are displayed for everyone to see. The students enjoy creating patterns with their choices of beads.
My goal in teaching is to make learning enjoyable for each student. These bead chains have been a useful tool in rewarding the learning that is taking place in a fun and engaging way.