Last year, I wanted to encourage my students to play more musically.  I made some “Caught Ya Makin’ Music” cards to give to them every time they played one of their pieces musically.  It was really amazing to see how most of them were motivated by these cards.  At the beginning of the year, I did an incentive program that included $5 of composer bucks to be awarded for every card they earned.  But, after our incentive program stopped mid-year, many of them asked me to continue giving out the cards without any composer bucks.  By the end of the year, I was so pleased that they all seemed to be more conscious of what it takes to play musically and tended toward more musical playing even without the cards.

This year, I am not doing an incentive contest per se, but my main goal this year is again to help them play more musically.  I believe that if they learn to do this and it becomes a natural, automatic way of playing, they will enjoy music more and continue lessons longer.  Of course, all the other foundational parts of learning music are still important, but this is again our emphasis for the year.

I am doing a lecture in February and April on how to motivate students to play more musically and will be sharing some of the more practical ideas periodically this year on the blog.  The first resource I wanted to make available is the Certificate of Artistry that I designed for my students this year.  This is a more official looking award and should be more motivating for my older students than the Caught Ya Makin’ Music Cards were.

One of the nice things about these is that they are easy to collect since they are small and can easily fit in a notebook pocket or taped to an assignment sheet.  Print these on parchment paper (card stock) for best results.  You can put a little star sticker on the star emblem on each certificate.  Since I have more gold star stickers than purple, red, or green, I am going to tell my students that they have to earn 4 gold star certificates before they can choose a purple, red, or green star.

I hope you can use these in your studio!