Monday Mailbag – Year End Achievement Awards

“I am curious about student achievement awards.  I am wondering what you and other teachers do.  Do you give out awards based on years in lessons (i.e. 3 year award) or perhaps awards based on level of achievement (i.e. completed Faber level 2A etc.)?  Maybe some teachers simply give out a participation certificate. This will be the first time I am doing a recital and I want to give the students some kind of year end award.  I don’t do an incentive program (yet) and I want to make sure if I start something, it is something that the students will feel a sense of pride and achievement for receiving.”

This is actually a pretty thought-provoking question for me! I’ve never given achievement awards based on years of study or completion of levels, but I can see how something like that might be a good motivator for a student. Some of my students participate in a yearly Music Progressions evaluation program that is comprised of 10 levels. Those who participate receive a certificate each year, but I can’t remember a student ever caring about the certificate (I often find these crumpled in the bag months later). I think it would be kind of cool to have an award of some sort that was progressive from year to year. Extra incentive to stick with piano study through the hard times!

My year-end rewards are almost always tied to our practice incentive theme. And they are usually completely different from year to year. For example, this year the students who earned the specified number of Complication Coins can use them to purchase a custom-designed studio t-shirt. 🙂 You can see a list of other year-end rewards I’ve used on this post about Practice Incentives and Rewards.

My mental wheels are really spinning now, though, and I’m curious to know if other teachers give some sort of progressive award based on years of study or level completion. What do you do in your studio? I’d love to get some new ideas!

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!

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