Many will agree that the life of a music teacher is not always easy. Here are some effective ways to motivate your piano students to continue their practice.
The sign of an exemplary student is an equally exceptional teacher. Without a higher hand guiding us along the way, we would find ourselves devoid of the proper knowledge we need to succeed. The pivotal role of a teacher is something we should not understate or underestimate. However, being a teacher comes with challenges, as students may not always feel motivated to learn, even if they enjoy playing the piano. To help you mitigate these challenges, we provide you with five highly effective ways to motivate your piano students to continue practicing.
As you know, it takes serious persistence to become good at anything. The best pianists did not become that way overnight; they put in years of work, devoting daily time to their practice. Students might assume that the best never wavered or waned in their passion, but that may simply not be true.
The truth is that these masters are the ones who likely faced the most roadblocks, plateaus, and challenges along the way. The only difference is that they maintained the drive, persistence, and dedication to push through and continue. We will all face ruts in our musical journey, but the little things we do along the way help us get to levels that were once just a dream. One way we can continue our music development is through motivation.
It is important to know about the two types of motivation, as it will aid you in encouraging your students in a way that is best for them. These two types of motivation are extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is rewards-based which can be in the form of money, social recognition, praise, or trophies. Intrinsic motivation arises from within an individual, blossoming from an inner desire to accomplish something for the gratification of success.
Motivation serves as a way to encourage your students when they find themselves within a rut or plateau. Throughout your time with your students, you will find they might need one specific type of motivation or both. What's more, their motivation needs may change as they develop.
It can be hard trying to break through when we hit these walls and plateaus, but it is not impossible. With the help of a teacher, students can find themselves on the other side in no time. Here are effective ways to intrinsically and extrinsically motivate your piano students to keep practicing.
Throwing a concert or recital is a great way to motivate your students, as they will feel excited by the idea of recognition and praise. If you want to incorporate this into your motivational plan, there are many ways to do so. You can have a "concert" that solely includes the students in the classroom and have them play a piece they have worked on for the past week. A weekly or monthly concert wherein your student will play amongst their peers may motivate them to dive deep into their practice.
Moreover, you can also have a studio-wide recital inviting family and friends for a night of music. For some students, there is nothing more exciting than the thought of masterfully playing a challenging piece for their family and friends. These recitals are also a great opportunity for the family to appreciate and see first-hand how much their loved one is growing and learning as a pianist.
Motivate your students by allowing them to choose the piece they will learn. When students only have a small range of musical pieces to work with, their motivation can quickly dwindle. However, you can reignite that passion by putting the choice in their hands and granting them access to a plethora of songs to choose from. But how can you do this for all your students while maintaining proper guidance?
When you use our piano teaching app, your students will have access to thousands of songs for them to learn and play. No matter what TV show, movie, or musical your students love, we likely have the music for them. At Piano Marvel, we want to encourage your students to keep playing, which is why our app has so much variety for you and them. What's more, our app will also track their progress and provide assessments, so you aren't overwhelmed.
Have you ever watched someone perform something masterfully? No matter what talent it was, it likely inspired you to continue with your own practice or even want to try theirs out. As such, consider playing recital or concert footage of masterful pianists for your students. They will likely watch with wide eyes and open mouths, stunned at the incredible and intricate display of talent.
Upon viewing, your students will see all they could be capable of if they keep practicing. These videos will also help them find inner feelings of drive they may have lost along the way, pushing them to conquer a difficult plateau.
There is likely nothing more detrimental to a student's development than a teacher who appears unenthusiastic about the material. If you don't seem excited or come off as bored, this will easily rub off on your students. We know you are passionate about piano, and music in general, so it shouldn't be too hard to show that off to your students. Even when the material becomes more challenging, your students will look to you as a reminder of the passion that exists within them.
In addition to your enthusiasm, make sure to show enough encouragement and praise. You can provide praise verbally, with stickers, or you can even give a "musician of the week" award.
When we start something new, the initial excitement can take us quite a long way, but it doesn't always last as long. Students who don't know how much dedication piano truly takes can feel lost and frustrated along the way. Many beginners want to be proficient much faster than expected and may not realize the amount of effort required.
It is best that you maintain total honesty with your students and let them know how much practice they will need to do and how consistently. Doing so helps ground your students into more realistic goals they can achieve. Your students will feel more trusting of you and feel like you are truly invested in their musical journey—because you are.