Who’s ready for the SUMMER THEORY CHALLENGE??
I don’t know about you, but I really struggle to keep my students’ interest in the summer time. They show up to lesson with their hair wet, faces flushed, straight from swimming lessons, and they are eager for the lesson to end so they can go play with friends, or go to the beach.
And the practicing!
The practicing is abysmal. We spend the summer months spinning our tires, basically having the same lesson over and over again because there is no practicing happening at home. And that’s if they are even in town! Even my most dedicated students fall into this summer slump.
There isn’t much I can do about policing practicing while the kiddos are on vacation, but I can encourage them to use their commute times, or other down times, working on something I often neglect…MUSIC THEORY!!
Announcing the Summer Music Theory Challenge, here’s how it works:
In order to win some super fancy prizes (most of my practice prizes are dollar store delights), each student must complete one or all of these herculean feats.
1. Memorize the order of the sharps and flats. (Come on people, it’s not even hard.)
2. Identify (name, play, sing) all first position note cards in three minutes. (Technically, they should be able to do this anyway, but…man. Everyone seems to hate flashcards.)
3. Identify all 24 Major and minor key signatures in two minutes. (This one is a wee bit of a stretch for some of my students, but I am confident that they can do it!)
As I said before, my prizes are usually a little bit on the lame side, so I decided to pull out the stops this time to see if I could get some extra engagement during the practicing doldrums (ahem, I really don’t like summer.)
If they complete all of these tasks, they get a $10 iTunes gift card. (I’m going to pretend that they will spend it on recordings of Mr. Heifetz and Oistrakh.)
If they complete two, they get a $5 iTunes gift card. (Yeah, yeah, I know they’re going to get Plants vs. Zombies, or whatever game is cool right now.)
If they complete one, they get a King Size Candy bar. (I’m not a huge fan of giving candy for prizes, but this is a special occasion!)
The prizes will be awarded at our End of Summer Potluck.
If you would like to have your studio join the Summer Theory Challenge, you can send this invite to your students, or you can design your own theory challenge! I’d like to thank Jeanne Grover for this fantastic idea. Jeanne, you are a fabulous muse.
What are your summertime strategies? What do you guys use for incentives? I need more prize ideas! Let me know in the comments.
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