Coming to a lesson, getting an assignment and practicing for your next lesson doesn't sound like a good long term plan to me. When I took lessons as a child, I never connected with my teacher and she never connected with me. I practiced the assignment and never played in a single recital, never played a single game in lessons, never learned pride in my piano skills, never even knew she had other students, and never took part in any group activities. What a shame. (Now you know why these things are so important to me today, as a teacher!)
Students need something to focus on; they need a goal. Heck, I need a goal, myself, as a business owner! Students need to be actively engaged in the learning process. Coming to a lesson only to practice for the next lesson is passive and it didn't motivate me as a child and teen, that's for sure.
Setting and achieving a goal is such an important life lesson. Learning that they are capable of setting and achieving goals is a skill they will use for every situations they encounter in their lifetime. Having pride in what you do and knowing that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to is empowering. Where there is a will, there is a way. I believe this absolutely.
So this fall each and every single student will have a goal in place with the help of me and their parents. The goal will be posted on the wall of the studio and they will always be reminded of how they are working to achieve the goal by the end of the academic year.
Is there a reward involved? No, they'll just be satisfied with the intrinsic value of achievement.
Don't be silly, OF COURSE there is an award! These are CHILDREN we are dealing with, not philosophers! Who doesn't want recognition for their hard work?