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Motivate
#1229187 07/09/09 11:15 PM
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What do you all do to motivate your students? Anything besides "good job"
??????????



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Re: Motivate
MrsCamels #1229209 07/09/09 11:52 PM
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What, you mean your students aren't highly self-motivated? grin


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Re: Motivate
John v.d.Brook #1229265 07/10/09 01:54 AM
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Chocolate. At the moment I'm handing out 'Summer Santas' from the 99p shop.

Re: Motivate
keyboardklutz #1229340 07/10/09 07:39 AM
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I give kids their choice of a music bookmark, or a mechanical pencil. Sometimes I change things a bit, but they really like the pencils! Right now there are a lot of "Hanna Montana" and "High Sshool Musical" ones available. I also have some bug and army ones for the boys. Every time they reach the staples in the middle of the book, or the end of a book, they get to pick one.



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Re: Motivate
Ebony and Ivory #1229507 07/10/09 12:40 PM
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Weekly stickers for practicing

'Treasure Box' that they can occasionally choose from (stocked with either stuff from Oriental Trading Co. or candy/goodies)

Composer statuettes

New book bag (every 3-4 years I give them a new one at the beginning of the year)


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Re: Motivate
dumdumdiddle #1229539 07/10/09 01:33 PM
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Marbles. I thought about letting them "buy" things when they have collected enough but I haven't gotten that organized yet.


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Re: Motivate
trillingadventurer #1229584 07/10/09 02:28 PM
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Intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation...

I never buy anything for my students. I don't believe in extrinsic motivation, unless you count trophies for winning competitions or certificates for passing a music test. For me, the best motivation is when students know they are playing well because they have worked hard to reach that level.

On the other hand, I am not against parents' buying interesting music books for their kids. If the kid wants to play High School Musical, then by all means buy the book. They will soon discover how difficult it is to play all that syncopated rhythm--my goodness, even I had a hard time counting through some of those songs, extremely complicated rhythm.


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Re: Motivate
AZNpiano #1229826 07/10/09 11:16 PM
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I don't think anything motivates a student more than hearing, from a teacher:

"You did a great job. I'm proud of you." Everything else is secondary. But the praise has to be genuine, based on playing that is either quite good or shows noticeable inprovement.

Re: Motivate
AZNpiano #1229828 07/10/09 11:16 PM
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I'm with you, AZN. I used to buy things, and once in a while I'll give them a pencil or something for Valentine's day. I found that giving stickers and awards based on how many stickers they earned, etc. was just too much work with hardly the effort. The ones who always got the stickers would have done it anyway, and the ones who didn't, didn't seem to be motivated by such things.

The biggest motivator I have is the piano. They are there to take lessons, and presumably, to get better at playing. Sometimes a child need a pep talk when they're in a slump. Sometimes it's just giving extra complements (that are earned, of course). These seem to really help some kids.

Others need a tougher approach. Those that aren't really motivated to practice, I'll ask them if I asked their friends to list some things that the student enjoys doing the most, would they list piano as one of them? They can only consider themselves pianists if they actually play. Sometimes this reality check really gets them going - it worked for me! I talk to them about practicing every day, even if it's 1 minute, it's better than 0 minutes. Usually, they come in the next week with nothing less than 5 minutes, but I sometimes see a 1 minute day here and there. I congratulate them on their success, because even that one minute meant they took the time to *think* about piano. Plus, usually those one-minute ones are their scale which they normally don't practice at all laugh.

Last edited by Morodiene; 07/10/09 11:17 PM.

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Re: Motivate
Gary D. #1229836 07/10/09 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
I don't think anything motivates a student more than hearing, from a teacher:

"You did a great job. I'm proud of you." Everything else is secondary. But the praise has to be genuine, based on playing that is either quite good or shows noticeable inprovement.


I agree that the praise has to be genuine. I also think it's extremely important that the student is proud of himself. He's not doing it to please me, or mom and dad, etc. The student has got to become self-motivated and feel the pride within himself, or at least the satisfaction of a job well done. The kid has to "own it", that's my goal towards getting them to be self-motivated.


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Re: Motivate
Barb860 #1229893 07/11/09 03:12 AM
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By far, the best motivators are performances. People work best when they have something to work towards.

Everybody likes treats - candy, toys, and other tokens, but while treats are nice, there's nothing better than a job well done.

And while the "job" is often a performance, it need not be. You can also involve students in various projects - recordings, compositions, or artwork.

I also think motivation is more of a long-term thing. Short-term things like practicing and studying are more a matter of habit than motivation. I don't know anybody who's genuinely excited about practicing every time they do it - both amateur and professional.

Giving praise is a matter of being polite and honest, and it can help promote an atmosphere in which someone enjoys lessons, but I've never found that praise helps form good habits. I know plenty of teachers who handle praise very well, yet their students don't perform well because they don't have good practice habits. I also know teachers who are very stern and stoic, but whose students are very, very good because they do have good practice habits.

I say this because I have noticed a belief among educators that motivation is what causes good practice and study habits. But all of my experience as a teacher says otherwise. Students' practice and study habits are more a matter of discipline than anything.

Think of it in terms of eating habits. If motivation were the key to good eating and exercise habits, then everybody on the planet would eat smart and be in good shape. The motivation is there for all of us - good eating and exercise habits make you feel better and look better.

And yet despite that very strong motivation (who doesn't want to look good and feel good about themselves?), there are a lot of people who lack energy and weigh 250lbs. Why? Discipline! Does it help to have Richard Simmons or Billy Blanks urging you on? Of course it does, but until you discipline yourself to eat right and exercise - even when you don't want to - you're not going to get the job done.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Motivate
Kreisler #1229913 07/11/09 05:07 AM
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Kreisler,
Very well said, and in my opinion, very true.
However the challenge is how do you foster / teach self-discipline to a young person or -even worse- a teenager or even okder person?

Re: Motivate
Andromaque #1229963 07/11/09 09:02 AM
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I think discipline isn't something that's taught. It seems to be more a matter of atmosphere, and that's why the parents are so important. If the parents provide a structured environment and are themselves disciplined, then it tends to infect their children. When I look back at all the people I've taught, the ones who did best were the ones who could tell me what time of day they practiced - it's a part of their daily routine.

The poorer students are the ones who have not made practice a part of their routine. Practice becomes something they "just didn't have time for" - an excuse I don't believe in. Nobody is running around weighing 80 lbs looking malnourished because they "just didn't have time" to eat.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Motivate
Gary D. #1229965 07/11/09 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
I don't think anything motivates a student more than hearing, from a teacher:

"You did a great job. I'm proud of you." Everything else is secondary. But the praise has to be genuine, based on playing that is either quite good or shows noticeable inprovement.


+1

And Kreisler made some really salient points as well. Short term vs long term motivation?

An interesting footnote - at the student recital, one of my 10th graders brought along a cheering section. He didn't do this out of self-promotion, they were several classmates, both male and female, including his lady love, whom he wanted to share his music with, but when he finished his Chopin Nocturne, the 3 girls went bonkers.

Do you think this might have motivated my other teenage boys? If you don't, how do you explain their sudden assault on the practice piano?


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Motivate
John v.d.Brook #1230419 07/12/09 01:32 PM
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Very true, Kreisler. And John, I think your exmaple is one of short-term motivation. It may spur those boys to practice for a time, but unless something else is driving them or they realize something in the process of trying to impress the girls, it will die out.

One thing I've noticed among the students who excel is that they want it badly enough. Badly enough to sacrifice going out with friends for an hour, or playing xbox, etc. It is a matter of discipline, yes, but also one of priorities and overcoming obstacles to the goal. Perseverance is needed for this.

Maybe we can make the "3 Ps" of piano study: Practice (discipline), Priorities, and Perseverance. (perhaps these have been named by someone before and I just didn't know it, but they seem to fit nicely).


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Re: Motivate
John v.d.Brook #1230421 07/12/09 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
but when he finished his Chopin Nocturne, the 3 girls went bonkers.

Do you think this might have motivated my other teenage boys? If you don't, how do you explain their sudden assault on the practice piano?


So are you saying that we should "invest" in some pretty girls to go bonkers at the recitals?

Sure couldn't hurt wink


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Re: Motivate
Morodiene #1230516 07/12/09 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Very true, Kreisler. And John, I think your exmaple is one of short-term motivation. It may spur those boys to practice for a time, but unless something else is driving them or they realize something in the process of trying to impress the girls, it will die out.

One thing I've noticed among the students who excel is that they want it badly enough. Badly enough to sacrifice going out with friends for an hour, or playing xbox, etc. It is a matter of discipline, yes, but also one of priorities and overcoming obstacles to the goal. Perseverance is needed for this.

Maybe we can make the "3 Ps" of piano study: Practice (discipline), Priorities, and Perseverance. (perhaps these have been named by someone before and I just didn't know it, but they seem to fit nicely).


You don't understand men, do you! grin


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Motivate
Andromaque #1230571 07/12/09 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Andromaque
Kreisler,
Very well said, and in my opinion, very true.
However the challenge is how do you foster / teach self-discipline to a young person or -even worse- a teenager or even okder person?


assuming you mean an "older" person smile
I think self-discipline is not taught. It is learned as a result of doing a "discipline" such as studying piano.


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Re: Motivate
John v.d.Brook #1230706 07/13/09 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook


An interesting footnote - at the student recital, one of my 10th graders brought along a cheering section. He didn't do this out of self-promotion, they were several classmates, both male and female, including his lady love, whom he wanted to share his music with, but when he finished his Chopin Nocturne, the 3 girls went bonkers.

Do you think this might have motivated my other teenage boys? If you don't, how do you explain their sudden assault on the practice piano?

There is no higher motivation for teenaged boys than hormones.

But even the younger ones crave attention from others and want to be "cool". smile

Re: Motivate
Gary D. #1230707 07/13/09 12:15 AM
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What about motivation in teenage girls???

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