Brag Tags = Motivation = Goals Achieved

Back in September, I decided to do something different with how I motivate my students. I usually do a prize box and have them earn music money, but I was finding that I was spending a lot of money on prizes (and probably being too loose in giving out $). I loved the idea of Brag Tags when I saw another piano  teacher post a few of hers on piano teacher central Facebook page. I have an incredible studio assistant, Tiana Page,  who designed all my tags that I use. I love this idea because I know that in order for a student to earn a tag, they have to accomplish the task.  When students reach 20 tags, then they are awarded a prize (fidget spinners, silly putty, etc.).

At the start of each school year, I have a studio party to light the fire in each student and get them motivated to practice. We talk about goals and how to practice. This year, my students made these fun carabiner clips to attach their tags on. I will say … cutting and laminating the tags took FOREVER. To help in this time consuming task, I asked one of my student laminate and cut while I taught their sibling.  Students love to help! At the studio party the older students made the braids for the younger students because it was a bit difficult for them to figure out. Each student picked out the colors that they wanted.

Here are the tags that my assistant created and you are all welcome to download them. Enjoy!

Brag Tags by Tiana Page

Piano Practice Pointers

Piano Practice Pointers 

  1. Be consistent. Practice a little EVERY day. This is far more beneficial than one or two long practice sessions a week.
  2. Schedule/Routine. Have a certain time each day that is set aside specifically for your practice. It will then become part of your daily routine. Split your daily practice into even smaller time chunks, i.e. technical work in the morning and longer pieces in the afternoon/evening.
  3. Small Sections. Learn each piece a phrase at a time. Practice each phrase S-L-O-W-L-Y until you have it, and then go to the next phrase.
  4. Quality vs. Quantity. Starting at the beginning of the piece and playing through to the end each time you practice is not an effective use of your time. You are merely practicing mistakes! If you keep practicing your mistakes you will be very good at playing them.
  5. Mix it up! Sometimes start in the middle of your piece and work to the end, or start with the last phrase and work backwards by section.
  6. Record. Regularly record yourself playing and listen carefully to it.
  7. Slippery Spots. Each piece has a tricky or technical section. Focus on the these phrases rather than just the sections that you like to play.
  8. Listen. Find recordings of your piece being performed by excellent players.