Saturday, May 22, 2010


Teacher: "So how's the practicing going?"
Student: [sheepish look]

One of the recurring themes in every music studio is that of motivation, how to get your students fired up so that they do their work and more. Natalie Wickham's 4 Tips for Dealing With Unmotivated Students has some useful tips on how to help students move beyond their inevitable slumps:
Ideally, piano lessons are for the long-haul, so don’t feel like a few weeks here or there spent focusing on other things is a waste of time. A lesson of music games could be just the thing to remind the student of how much they’ve learned, or 20 minutes spent watching and listening to piano performances on YouTube could be just the thing to re-ignite their enthusiasm for music.
I've also been thinking about Daniel Pink's Drive video presentation and how one might apply the principles of autonomy, mastery, and purpose to the craft of teaching music students:

Over the last few years, I feel that much of the progress I've made and still need to make as a teacher has been directly related to not only enabling musical experiences for my students, but motivating them to complete the week-by-week work they need to do and search beyond, maybe even discovering their own musical paths in the process. Fortunately, the constant stream of new and fascinating personalities into my studio requires me to constantly be on the lookout for ways to reach them.

1 comment:

  1. Chris, another interesting blog post, talking about self-motivation, appears at "The Musicians Way."

    Thanks for this great post on a topic that's always on the front burner!