This year my students are doing my Practice Incentive Magic of Music. We are kicking it off the week of September 13th. I’m so excited to begin. I recently ordered some fun magic goodies at Oriental trading to decorate the studio and goodies for students to add to the excitement. For my studio I ordered a personalized sign that I will hang on my studio wall and a door cover that I will hang on my door. Both are personalized with the words MAGIC OF MUSIC of course!
In my treasure box will be magic tricks and more and I found these fun magic “tattoos” to throw in the chest as well! Later students will officially earn their magic wands and other awards at the spring recital in May!
Oriental trading also has plastic top hats and magic top hat treat bags that would be fun to do something with. Perhaps fill it with some goodies at Christmas time?
If you are doing the MAGIC OF MUSIC program this year, I would love to hear how your students are doing and responding to it!
Have fun making MAGIC in your studio this year!
I’m curious how many other teachers do a camp during December? I started holding Christmas camp in December over 10 years ago and will never go back to traditional lessons during this month. Why? I would get so frustrated at all the no shows, last minute cancellations, unpreparedness etc… that would go on in my studio during the month of December. On one hand, I totally understood it- it’s December! It’s a time to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends. Gathering, shopping, cookie making, serving one another, is what it’s all about. But on the other hand there was still things that had to be done, practicing, learning new songs, attending lessons, etc…
So instead of continuing on with my journey of frustration I started holding Christmas camp. I offer several sessions during the month to choose from. Families sign up for what session works best for their schedule that month and everything we do has a holiday/Christmas theme to it. It’s wonderful! Early in December students have the option to play their Christmas pieces at Music at the Mall, an event through my local music teachers association. I also call December On Your Own month to play Christmas (or whatever holiday they might celebrate) music like crazy that month, encouraging them to share their pieces with family and friends when they gather. It’s a win-win and we all enjoy it! They come back in January refreshed and ready to finish out the school year.
I will be posting some of my Christmas camps and the Practicing over the Holidays chart soon. Be on the lookout!
I am a big fan of the book by Philip Johnston, The Practice Revolution. One of my most favorite summer workshops that I put together several years back was teaching the student’s how to practice, getting the most out of their practice sessions and Philip’s books were a great resource to work with. I am a big advocate of making practice goals and using practice games to help achieve the goals in student’s practicing. To encourage student’s to play practice games each student receive’s a practice kit when they start lessons (includes everything they would need to play any of the game) and a handout in their binder to refer to for directions on how to play these games. In the handout, I picked the top 8 games that I thought would be the most beneficial to have them use when they practice.
Here is a free download to print out: Practice Game Printout.
In addition, I made cards for the “Ice Cream” games and included them in the student’s practice kit. You can download this as well: Practice Cards for Ice Cream Games
Since 2002, every four years I hold Piano Olympics in the studio. We begin in October and go until mid-April. I hold quarterly group lessons and when I can I coordinate my group lessons with what we are doing with our yearly theme. I have posted pictures and on my studio blog of the group lessons. For our “Opening Ceremony” pictures and activities click here. When it is time for our spring recital, students perform pieces representing different countries. At the end of their performances they are presented with a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal.
While many studio’s do Piano Olympics in their studio (it is so much fun afterall!), I thought I would share my Piano Olympic rules and event sheet. You can download this for free Piano Olympic Event Rules.
During each of our group lessons, students work a little bit in their Piano Olympics workbook. I’ve had several teachers inquire if they could purchase the book, so I have made that available. In the meantime, here are some sample pages you can view for free. Piano Olympics Workbook Sample Pages
$15.00 (Reproducible- Unlimited copies for your students!)
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Looking for a little MAGIC in your studio this year?
Welcome to Magic of Music, a year long incentive program for students. Students will learn all the secrets to making magic with their music. Students will begin their magical journey as an Apprentice stretching themselves, learning as much as they can, exploring all the possibilities!Students will be earning points based on their accomplishments which will allow them to move up levels in the world of Music Magic.
You will receive a welcome letter explaining all the exciting things in store, tips, advancement certificates for students as they move up levels, assignment and student workbook pages to help them along their magical journey.
Click here for more details.
A lot of times, when I do an incentive program, I like to incorporate my yearly theme to the program. This is what I did for my Star Program, a basic goal oriented program for kids to accomplish musical goals throughout the year. My yearly theme was “You’re A Star” and for our spring recital the pieces were all from movies and T.V. Shows. The recital was held at the local movie theater. The local piano store at the time was willing to loan me a Clavinova at no cost as long as I could pick it up and return it. It was a very fun!
You can download You’re A Star Program for free. Feel free to edit the dates how you see fit.
I thought I would first share one of my yearly incentive programs I created awhile back. Piano Karate is always a hit in the studio.
Similar to the karate program, students pass off stripe tests. Once they pass off their 3 stripe tests in a particular category they advance to the next category working towards their black belt.
I use ribbons to represent their stripe colors. The ribbon hangs down off of their Piano Karate badge that I make, which is pinned to their music bag. Pics not great, but here’s what a badge would look like…
Piano Karate badge
You can download the Piano Karate student sheet for free here. Be sure to leave a comment after downloading.