For proper piano learning, practice is imperative and for consistent practicing especially among young learners, some kind of positive reinforcement is important. Positive support and strengthening activities encourages regular practicing of piano among students. These ways could motivate your students to pass even difficult instances of learning sessions with ease. Whether it is about playing correct notes, memorization skill, proper fingering or any other aspect of learning piano, incentives prove helpful not only for young but also for adult piano students. If you are really a professional piano teacher who wishes to make learning sessions more productive for your students; design an appropriate incentive program for your learning studio and you will be able to see positive results.
Why incentive programs are important?
Incentive programs are important to keep students motivated. Learning piano is not a skill that you can gain overnight or learn with some sessions but it is an ongoing process. For the length of these sessions to be long, students often loose motivation and a will to learn. Incentive programs help in keeping them motivated. With appropriate incentive programs, a teacher can reap following benefits:
- It keeps students motivated.
- It gives them a sense of achievement.
- It builds their confidence.
- It enhances their focus on lessons and makes them more diligent.
- It makes them more productive.
- It encourages them to be more creative.
- It is a way of showing that you care.
- It is the key to happy students.
Designing an Incentive Program:
A reward or incentive program for your piano student can depict and reinstruct what behaviors you expect from your students and what goals they need to achieve in order to stay on the track of piano lessons. As we are concerned about dealing with young piano students, they usually have small goals to achieve. For those small goals, young leaners just need some simple rewards or positive feedbacks quite frequently. However as they grow up, their goals and rewards would grow too. The main idea is that a piano teacher can work with different incentive programs for their students but those programs should be designed to fit needs and abilities of your students.
- Programs should be simple to understand for young students.
- They should be short and not too time consuming or your young learners would easily loose interest.
- These programs should have realistically attainable goals for kids.
- Your incentive programs should be creative or kids can easily get bored and give up.
- You don’t need to spend much of money to buy expensive rewards but your programs can only cost you up to a few dollars or even nothing at all.
Samples – Incentive Programs:
- Sticker Rewards: You can get make a box of musical stickers and every time any student accomplish a goal, you can give them a sticker. To further accelerate, you can give an inexpensive treat or reward to a student who collects 10 stickers. Those gifts could be anything such as glitter markers, bouncy balls, keychains etc. You can also have a prize box and let student choose anything from that box.
- Wall of Fame: Young students love recognition in the form of their name as a star of the day. You can have a wall of fame in your learning studio and can use that wall to write the name of students who excel in their lessons for the day. You can even enhance encouragement by writing what they have accomplished with their name and at the end of the session, student can even let their parents have a look at that wall of fame with their name on it.
- Online Goal Tracking: You can have an online goal tracking system that works around the syllabus that you will carry throughout your teaching session. You can mark a star or a sticker to check goal as a student achieves it. This would be visual track of their performance that would be viewable by their parents too to give them an idea of their child’s performance. To make it more interesting, you can even mark kids who excel and exceed their goals and then celebrate their progress with a reward, award, trophy or a treat.
- Parent’s Encouraging Appearance: Praise is something that works really well as a motivation for young students. Praise your students for every little goal they achieve. You can enhance the encouragement for a student who excels by inviting his/her parents to listen to a piece that he learnt to play really well. This would definitely give a boost to his confidence and would make him more productive.
- Chance for a Student-Teacher Duet: Give your performing students a chance to play duet with their teacher. Student especially young ones really look forward to playing duets with their teacher. Tell them in advance that they will be performing with you so that they can practice more and become proficient at their parts with complete confidence.
- Use recording as an Incentive tool: Kids love to have their performances recorded. If a young learner performs well or achieves a goal, let him choose one of their favorite pieces and record it. It could be a great tool for encouraging practice.
- Design Chains: Buy different packs of beads that are used for making funky chains. Each time a student achieve a goal, he earns a bead. Let them collect as many as they can and they can make various practice chains that they can display as their mark of achievements in their piano learning sessions.
There could be endless possibilities to designing an incentive program but just make sure that you design it according to age and interest of your students. With these programs your students would be further motivated to make progress with piano learning. With these incentives, you will find your students to gain interests and priorities similar to yours and would further excel in being more creative and productive with playing music on piano.
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