Page 1 of 3

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 4:23 pm
by Ursie
I'm giving a Practice and Progress Prize to one of my student at the end of the summer term. I have a masterclass arranged with another pianist at the end of term also. Should I give the prize then (not my personal first or second choice), arrange a similar end of term workshop that parents can attend and give it then (this would only work if I was able to hire the school hall as my livingroom isn't big enough), or give the prize during lesson time and announce the student in a newsletter.

My hubbie won a Progress Prize when he was at junior school (many moons ago now!!) and my children love to look through the book he was given - this is what gave me the idea. However, not everyone may think this is a good/wise idea. Has anyone else awarded prizes, or been a prize winner? I'd be very interested to hear peoples comments.

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 5:32 pm
by Mins Music
Perhaps you could have a progress prize every term and announce the winner in the newsletter, and then have an even bigger prize for the whole year and hire out the hall when you give your end of year recital, and hand out awards then when you already have an audience.

What was your first preference Ursie?

And what do other teachers do?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:44 pm
by Lyndall
Ursie it's a great idea to announce the winner in the newsletter so everyone can see who's being singled out & why, giving other parents & students something to strive for. An annual prize is even better so students know they can work towards it all year long. I like Mins' idea of giving out any awards at the end-of-year recital. This is exactly what I'm doing this weekend. I'm giving ribbons/certificates to a lot of students for various achievements, but not everyone will get one. Some will get more than one.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:36 am
by Mins Music
Lyndall, what do your ribbons look like? Are they coloured, do they have words written on them? Where do you get them from? ???

...and what do the students seem to like the most - certificates or ribbons? Which is the most important in your studio?

Edited By Mins Music on 1086172798

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:30 am
by Ursie
Mins Music, Lyndall, thanks for your replies. Sorry I've taken so long to reply - I've been house hunting which is a full time, frustrating occupation :laugh:

I think ideally I would have liked to have had a recital and given the prize then - I'll certainly be doing that next time. This year, I suppose I announced I would be giving a prize but didn't think how and when I would be doing it - very bad planning (actually, no planning :( ). I may test the water with parents and see if they are up for an end of year recital in July that they can attend. The thing is I only have 7 students, too many for my livingroom but too few for a school hall? Of course, I could just ask my teacher if she would mind me giving out the prize during the workshop. I haven't discussed this with her. Or I could team up with another teacher and put on a joint recital - although my experience to date is that teachers can be a bit cagey about this kind of socialising.

The newsletter wasn't my own idea, it was someone else's suggestion, but I think it's a great idea.

Oh and also, I was at another website recently and noticed they had ribbons/certificates/gifts etc that you could buy for such occasions. Like Mins' I would be interested as to which the students were more excited about. As an afterthought my son's karate class teacher gives out certificates and badges to his littlies, but only certificates to his older and adult students.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 6:40 pm
by Mins Music
Ursie, did you end up getting a house?

If all your students will be present at the workshop, this sounds like good alternative to hiring a hall. The expense could be quite a bit shared between seven students (or eight, if you contribute).

Sometimes with some furniture re-arranging it's surprising what you CAN fit into a living room! I've made my husband help me move lounge suits, TV cabinets, gym equipment (he REALLY likes that I've converted the double garage into a studio now :D ) and I could fit about forty people into a small area. :O Throw some cushions on the floor for the 'kid's' area, and the only seating you need is for adults.

Ursie, what was the site you were at selling awards? I remember visiting one quite a while ago.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 3:37 pm
by Ursie
Yes, we found a house - thank goodness. Fitting the piano in will take a bit of planning (an internal wall will have to be removed) but it should work out okay in the end. Converting the garage is a good idea and we did look at a few properties with that in mind, we might even end up doing that with this one - much saving of pennies will have to be done first though!

The website I saw the rosettes etc. on is:-

I haven't ordered anything yet but I will do shortly. Not sure what the costs etc for shipping to Australia are though.

As for the practice and progress prize, I'll speak to my teacher and see if she minds me giving it out at the masterclass. I must remember to ask about her experiences with two piano's as well, how's that going with you Mins Music? That's a different thread though - sorry.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 6:06 pm
by Mins Music
Thanks for the site Ursie. Wow, some of those rosette ribbons are fancy! I was imagining something much more humble.

Which ones are you going to buy? And for what category?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:07 pm
by Lyndall

Sorry I didn't see your questions about certificates vs. ribbons. I gave them out last Saturday & couldn't really sense whether the kids who got ribbons preferred them over the few who got paper certificates printed by me. The ribbons came in a 10-pack with a gold grand piano & a different music element printed on each one e.g. Theory, History, Scales, Memory etc.

I thought long & hard about which ones to give to which students - some got 2 or 3, others didn't get a ribbon at all because there was no category they excelled in. Those ones were mainly my newest students who all got a New Student Award certificate.

I'll have to ask some of them which they think they would rather be awarded...

The ribbons weren't rosettes, just 4 x 10 cm plain edged, but 2 students got special larger sized ones (Most Improved & Honourable Mention) because they deserved them. These were a bit more expensive.

I got them from the Friendship House catalogue which gets sent to me since I joined the American Music Teachers Nat. Association.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 3:12 pm
by Ursie
Mins - I've decided on and ordered the most fancy of rosettes with "Most Progress" being the award. I've still got to decide on a gift though. Another decision. I don't want to be too extravagant but on the other hand it's only going to be a once a year award and I want it to be something that the students would like to win - any suggestions gratefully received. Once my purchase has arrived I'll let you know if it's as good as it's picture.

Lyndall - I like the idea of ribbons. I'll have to have a search around the UK to see if there are any suppliers here.

Here's a question for you both - do you agonise over whom to give an award to or are you very sure from the outset?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 8:00 pm
by Mins Music
I've never awarded progress awards or ribbons. I've made certificates of achievement for various courses I've designed (and was tickled when I learned that one of the participants hangs her certificate on her bedroom wall :laugh: ), and I've handed out presents for competitions, where there is a clear winner.

The problem in my studio is that I don't just teach piano. I teach keyboard (which has different skills and so the students are at a different level to piano students), guitar and singing. I'd have to have awards for each of the instruments, and then there's the problem of age! I teach six year olds, young teenagers, yound adults and I have a few adults in their thirites, forties, fifties and sixties. I love the variety. I have in the past tried to sit down and work out some kind of award incentives, but got flabbergasted (and ran out of time!)

I think it would be very time consuming thinking about who deserves what when the judgment is so subjective. That's why I've always opted for a quantitive approach. You got the highest number, you get the award. You can play this, this and this, you get the certificate.

I like the idea of what you're doing Ursie, because I think it's very encouraging for students. I've heard of one studio handing out Student of the Week awards too, and a whole heap of others that they display in their studio for their students to work toward. I'm just not that organised. :(
I'd like to be though. I think it's a project to do in one of the school holidays when I have more time to put some real substantial thought into it.

I have a whole draw of presents that I'll hand out to students in lessons, depending on how thrilled I am with what they've done.

Here's a list of what's in my draw at the moment:
1. Bart Simpson pens that are also a light, stamp and bubble maker
2. Little pots of lip gloss
4. Toy cars
5. Gold chocolate coins
6. Lollipops
7. Chocolate eggs
8. Bags of jelly beans
9. Pencils with music symbols on them
10. Small picture frames
11. Toy microphones
12. Pens with fluffy butterflies or flowers on the top
13. Little novelty clocks
14. See through coloured watches

I have another draw full of stamps and stickers that I use all the time in my teaching. Some stickers are awards, others are used to mark music for recitals, challenges, or some other practical reason. I also use them for progress charts and practise sheets for the students.

Sometimes I give the student a choice of present, and it's surprising what they choose sometimes. One girl chose a bookmark over chocolate. She said, chocolate goes in seconds, but I'll always have the bookmark. :)

If you find it too difficult thinking of an award, sometimes a gift voucher is even better, because they get to pick the gift themselves.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:57 am
by Lyndall

Some of my students were clear winners, e.g. my 6 yr old (who then 5 bawled at her first recital & couldn't get up out of her chair to come up to the piano, finally got coaxed by her Mum & sat down at the bench with her, but never could actually produce a sound) who has since played at 3 recitals, 2 performance parties, alone for a judge in Festival... 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 also but decided someone else could also be eligible for that.

Some came easily, others I put in a category then came back a week later & decided that wasn't right for them or that someone else deserved that one more.

Right until the day of recital I made changes - just had to change what I was going to say about each student is all.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:47 am
by Ursie
Hey, my rosette arrived! I'm very pleased with it. I would definitely recommend these suppliers. I think whoever I decide to award it to will be very pleased with themselves :D Now I just need to decide who the lucky person will be......

PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 3:48 am
by Mins Music
What's the colour of the rosette Ursie?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:28 am
by Ursie
It's blue and white - very nice. Also I'm thinking I might give a prize of tickets to the cinema for the student and a friend (probably 1 parent too!). I don't think I'm going to award my practice and progress prize at the masterclass/workshop as I want to wait and see what my teacher has to say. I have someone in mind but I'll wait to see how this week goes, the masterclass/workshop is on Sunday - wish me luck! :D