Monday, May 3, 2010

Motivation and Piano Parties

I like to choose a different "incentive" program every few months to help keep my students motivated and accomplishing in various areas of piano. This month I gave each student an ice cream party checklist with a list of toppings and ice cream flavors on the left and various tasks to complete on the right. Following are the instructions and a sample list of tasks. I vary the tasks each year and focus on different elements of piano playing.
Select a few piano goals from the list to work on each week. When you complete a task have your teacher or parent initial it and then draw a line to the menu item you would like.
The more goals you complete, the more toppings you can choose!


  • Come prepared to your lesson to pass off 2 of your songs with a 3 star rating (*perfect rhythm, *notes and *technic)
  • Fill in a blank Circle of 5ths Chart
  • Memorize the Order of Sharps (Key Signatures)
  • Complete Eighth Note Rhythm Gym Challenges Counting Aloud (1-5, 6-11
  • Beat your own high score on a Music Ace Game at your lesson.
  • Practice 5 days in a row (20 minutes or more) w/ signed practice chart
  • 100 % on flashcards at lightning speed
  • Complete a listening sheet at home
  • Play 1 octave arpeggios in 3 keys
  • Pass off a “Notes in the Fast Lane” Sightreading Page
  • Pass off a level on Staff Wars (Note Names)
  • Name the 4 periods of music in order & name 2 composers from each period
  • Play 3 scales forte(LH) vs. piano(RH)
  • Play 3 scales staccato(LH) vs. legato(RH)
It is humorous to see how motivating a little bowl of ice cream can be for some of my students. Others prefer the competition of summer olympics, earning music money or the suspense of our monster candy jar guesses. We will celebrate their achievements at our next group lesson as they enjoy the ice cream and toppings they have earned at the end of the lesson. What are some of your methods for motivating?

1 comment:

  1. Heidi,

    I love this list! I'm just starting to put together ideas for next year's motivation program and really like how "eclectic" this is - there's something in there to motivate just about every kid. Thanks for sharing!