Using incentives and challenges in your music studio can be a great way to keep your students motivated and inspired to practice. If you’d like to make your incentive programmes more exciting, give some of these simple ideas a try.
1. Offer Rewards
The reward of a thing well done is having done it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Improving through hard work may be its own reward, but when somebody completes a tough challenge I think that it’s important to treat yo self.
There are lots of easy ways to offer rewards to your students during incentive programmes. Giving chocolates/treats/ice creams for reaching a goal is generally appreciated, although there are more education-focussed options as well!
Some ideas include:
- Getting the opportunity to learn a special piece
- Earning tokens for time on music apps during lessons
- Attending a concert or performance
For more ideas check out The Ultimate Guide to Choosing An Incentive Programme.
2. Use Multimedia
Think audio recordings, videos, stories, images, comics…
If you’re feeling particularly creative and motivated, you might like to try making your own (or hiring someone to help via Fiverr). But there are lots of great options already out there too.
Musical Monster Mania has an ongoing audio story linked to achievements throughout the incentive programme. These updates are always my students favourite part! And even a simple audio introduction (like the one in Become a Musical Superhero) is a fun way for students to start the challenge.
3. Make Progress Public
A bit of healthy competition can be very motivating for some students. Having a progress record visible in your music studio (like a scoreboard or chart) is one option. Another is to share your students’ achievements via your studio newsletter or Facebook page.
Of course, not everyone enjoys a public record of their progress. Some students prefer to keep their results quiet, so it might be best to make this optional.
Alternatively you could divide students into teams (like the Hogwarts houses) for some good-natured rivalry. This shifts the attention from individuals to groups and might be a better fit for your studio. Go, go Gryffindor!
4. Celebrate with a Party!
Having a studio party at the end of an incentive is a great way to acknowledge everyone’s hard work, help build community, and give your students a fun event to remember.
Make it as simple or elaborate as you like. Here are a few ideas:
- Pizza and ice cream party
- A special awards ceremony (red carpet optional!)
- Shared food and music games
- Movie night
- A full-on extravaganza that fits in with the incentive (including themed decorations, food, costumes, and party games)
You’ll find endless ideas and inspiration for party planning on Pinterest.
If you’re looking for some fun (and effective!) incentives, then check out the Pianosaurus Rex Shop.