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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:14 pm
by Mins Music
What a great idea to award cinema tickets. My husband's school does this. Apparently there's only one thing more popular - cash prizes. :p

Where/how are you thinking of awarding your rosette?

I asked in the masterclass thread when yours would be on. Sunday! All the best with it Ursie. Let us know how it goes and what your students thought of it.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:04 pm
by Mins Music
Well you inspired me Ursie.
I had a studio recital yesterday and as I watched one of my newest students play, I realised just how far she had come in such a short amount of time. So right there on the spur of the moment, I decided to announce a 'most progress' award. I told everyone at the end of the recital, and she was thrilled to bits. Because I didn't have anything planned, I just opened my prize draw and told her she could choose three things. She chose a flourescant pink pencil, a blue pen with a fluffy butterfly on top and a large gold chocolate coin.
I've made up a certificate for her and will give it to her today at her lesson. I'll write it in my newsletter for next term and include a small version of it for everyone to see what it looks like.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:14 pm
by Mins Music
Lyndall wrote:... she easily gets the Performance ribbon. She also got Technique as she has the most beautiful hands + First Prize for being the first of the beginners to learn all her major sharp scales, and I wanted to give her Memory .

So Lyndall, you have awards for:
1. Performance
2. Technique
3. Scales Champ
4. Memory

Do you have any other categories?
Also, you mentioned in the thread about studio location that you have an incentive chart. What sort of things have you included?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 3:17 pm
by Lyndall
Well I also gave out a ribbon for Practice, History, Theory, Attendance, Sight Reading & Achievement. They came in a multi-pack which is why I gave out one of each (from Friendship House

This semester's incentive charts were related to scales - separate ones for beginners, elementary, intermediate & I just decided which scales I wanted each group to learn. Then I made tables in Word with the key sig. on top & students' names down the side & stuck them on coloured cardboard. Once each child demonstrated they knew the scale for that key, they posted a sticker in the box under it. I told them there would be one award for each age group. It was an incentive for some but definitely not all.

Last semester's were based on several criteria judged each lesson - 5 points for bringing all materials, practiced 5-6 days, cut fingernails, did theory homework, count aloud, plus 5 extra points for performing during the week, playing a musical game with family, composing. For 5 points you put up one sticker on a chutes & ladders chart I designed. Winners got to choose a prize from my box, kind of like your selection Min. Kids liked to see how many points they'd get each lesson (I usually forgot so they had to remind me right when they were leaving) but it didn't make them remember stuff each week.

I still need ideas for the over 10 year olds, since nothing I've done so far seems to interest them. Maybe the $ or movie tickets would be better. I've tried gift certificates at the music shop but they don't seem too excited.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:47 pm
by Mins Music
Wow you're really on the ball Lyndall! I've read ideas like these before (eg the practise spot, and I have the book- very good reading!) but have never quite had the incentive to implement the ideas. How many students do you have Lyndall?

These school holidays I'm running a practise competition. I only do it once a year so that the students don't become too blaze` (sp?) about it.

I've found with the over ten age group nothing motivates like fear!!! :D No, I don't mean in a bad way. But I've noticed it's when I've told them they are going to sit for a 'mock' exam, or prepare for a recital that they then become very motivated. Perhaps its because the little prizes we teachers can actually afford are pretty insignificant for the early/later teenager - although I've had thirteen year olds (and one seventeen year old) deliberate over which bookmark they were going to choose! And this group theory class is working wonders to develop friendly competition.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 3:10 pm
by Ursie
Well, the masterclass/workshop went well - thank goodness! My students all played well, despite being nervous. It lasted a bit longer than an hour but my students tell me that they didn't mind this and enjoyed hearing everyone else play. They also seem keen to attend any more that I might organise. Also, recently one of my more motivated students seemed to be practising less and has told me that since the masterclass/workshop she has practiced everyday! :D (I think the motivation here is that my teacher asked them all when they practised and the various responses seem to have encouraged my non-practicers!) They all played a solo piece which they were then offered advice etc. on (this varied between pieces that were finished and pieces that were currently being learned) and then they played some duets.

I have since met with my teacher and had lots of good advice, hints and tips etc. on my teaching. Obviously she has years and years of experience on me and I can't teach to her standard - but it has been a positive experience for me as a novice teacher! Watching how she went about teaching the duets was great as I haven't had any real experience of playing with others (I do have a duet partner now and I try to accompany others for exams etc. whenever the opportunity arises, and I do play duets with my pupils - but if was so good watching/listening to them play duets with each other).

As for the practice and progress prize, I decided not to give it to anyone that day and I also decided not to discuss it with my teacher. I've decided who to give it to and will present it to them at their lesson and put it in a newsletter. But next year I will be much better prepared and probably have an end of year recital or something similar that parents can attend and present it then.

My next stress? am I brave enough to let my teacher sit in on my teaching :O Any words of wisdom on this idea welcomed! (I suppose this should be another thread)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 2:21 am
by Mins Music
I'm so glad your master class went well. It's such a great idea and a wonderful opportunity for both you and your students.

And yes! Stress yourself out! If your teacher is willing, absolutely take advantage of her sitting in on your lessons. When I was training as a teacher, I had about nine different teachers who sat in on my lessons, (one at a time!) and once you begin and get involved with what you're doing, you don't even notice they're there. You seem to trust and admire your teacher, so I think it would be a great opportunity for you! If possible, ask her to sit in on a few different students.

Another thing you could think about doing (especially if your teacher is under time restraints) is videoing a few of your lessons and let your teachers watch them in her own time, and give comments to you later. Of course, you could alway watch them together. Seeing yourself teaching can teach YOU a lot too. :cool:

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 9:10 am
by Lyndall
Yes congrats Ursie on your master class, what a great idea for you as a teacher & your students.

Mins, I have 20 students which is probably my limit as I spend too much time on them as it is & neglect things around the house!


PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 4:58 am
by Mins Music
Lyndall wrote:I have 20 students which is probably my limit as I spend too much time on them as it is & neglect things around the house!

We suffer from the same syndrome then!!

Lyndall, do you have your own kids?

Ursie, do you?

If so, do you/will you teach them piano?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 9:36 pm
by Lyndall
No I don't have kids. Just a fantastic husband, so it's not as if I'm run off my feet every day. Just that I use every available minute on the computer or at the piano if I'm not careful & before I know it the days done & my afternoon students are due to arrive & dinner's not ready!

What about you?

If we do have kids, I hope they will want to learn piano & love it as much as I do.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:33 pm
by Mins Music
No kids, just me and hubby,and three dogs - one whose purpose in life is to find any way at all out of our backyard! :(

I have TEN nephews and nieces though! :laugh: They don't live near, but come and visit on holidays, and they try and squeeze as many lessons as they can into their time with me.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:07 pm
by Lyndall
Min, You sound like such a fun energetic teacher - I think it helps that you've got the classroom experience. I studied primary school teaching but never ended up in the classroom for various reason (regretfully) but it taught be a lot about kids.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 2:50 pm
by Ursie
Mins Music wrote:
Lyndall wrote:I have 20 students which is probably my limit as I spend too much time on them as it is & neglect things around the house!

We suffer from the same syndrome then!!

Lyndall, do you have your own kids?

Ursie, do you?

If so, do you/will you teach them piano?

Gosh, it's taken me ages to get round to answering you minsmusic - apologies.

Yes - I have three boys (16, 10 and 5), four if I count my husband - and a dog that seems intent on meeting your dog halfway underground! :laugh:. My 10 year old has lessons with my teacher. I found that when I taught him myself the motivation wasn't enough. So now he is motivated to practise for his lesson with his teacher but still relies heavily on me for input when practising. It's a bit expensive so I don't know how long I can continue, we shall see. He's only just started though so we will see how he goes.........

I do find that I neglect things needing done around the house but more importantly what I am finding as a parent is that the more time I spend practicing and the more students I take on to teach - the less time I have for my own children. Getting a balance is not easy. Hopefully the autumn term will bring a better balance.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 8:21 pm
by Mins Music
Ursie wrote:what I am finding as a parent is that the more time I spend practicing and the more students I take on to teach - the less time I have for my own children.

That would be difficult, as assumably most students would be after school, just when your own kids are coming home and want to talk about their day.

Has your 16 year old ever expressed an interest in the piano? What does your five year old do while you teach? (Hope I'm not being too nosey).

Back to PRIZE GIVING. I was VERY happy with the results of my holiday practise competition. It was very close between three. The winner gets a Martha Mier book(love her work!) and a CD (accompaniment I make myself).

I've also implemented a Student of the Week competition - based on how much practise is done. The response has been very positive. The weekly winner gets a small certificate (credit card size), sticker to put on their practise record, a choice of edible goodies from 'the draw' (kids do like it when that draw opens!) and of course their name written on the winners chart.

Thanks for the encouragement to start this! Judging from the response, it's something I should have had in my studio a long time ago ... but as they say, better late than never!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 5:02 pm
by Ursie
Gosh, I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I last posted here. It's been the summer holidays here so I've had house guests for a few weeks, not to mention the children being around, I work part time and to top that I'm also trying to get things sorted for my house move at the beginning of September! Phew!

Quick answer to your questions - no, my 16 year old isn't interested in piano but did take guitar lessons. He doesn't go to his lessons anymore but learnt enough to let him potter and go along to jam sessions with his friends. My five and ten year old usually go to a friends house on the day I teach from home (I also go (or used to go because I'm changing that now that I'm moving house) out to students houses). In the new autumn term one of my friend's is starting a teaching course. So one day I'll look after her little boy and on my busiest teaching day she'll look after mine. Perfect (hopefully!), as long as our two little boys stay friends ??? My ten year old is having piano lessons with my piano teacher. He's only just started though so we'll see how it goes. He's heard me raving on about her so often that he was quite excited to also be having piano lessons from her. I hope this will help encourage him when the new term starts in September.

I liked your idea of a Student of the Week Competition - and also the Holiday Practise Competition. I wonder how successful the Holiday Practise Competition would be over the Christmas period. Do you find your students have a particular holiday period where they don't practise as much? (i.e. Easter, Summer, Christmas). I suppose having a prize giving means you have to be able to judge when to have it so it's not a washout! Otherwise it could have the opposite effect :(