My question is regarding what type of practice incentives you use, if any. Currently, I have an incentive program for practice time only, where they earn a prize after one month of consistent practice (and the parent’s signature). I set this up because this year I started over with all brand new beginners. I do realize that this won’t work for the long term, and I would like to develop a new system where they earn points or something for practicing and perfecting certain parts/songs/scales, etc.
Ah, one of my favorite topics! 🙂 I am a huge proponent of practice incentives and have been developing practice incentive themes to use with my students each year for quite a while now. It is amazing how much this has contributed to the overall spirit of enthusiasm and excellence among my students. Having a cohesive theme to tie together the lessons, group classes, recitals, and studio atmosphere is so much fun! Plus it also makes lesson planning much easier because I establish the general lesson plans and structure into the incentive theme so that it’s almost like it runs on auto-pilot throughout the year.
If you’re interested in putting together your own practice incentive theme, you may want to read this post on 4 Components of a Good Practice Incentive. I’ve noticed that using this type of framework in my studio also helps me maintain enthusiasm and freshness in my teaching. I highly recommend incorporating different practice incentive ideas for the sake of both teacher and student!
Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!