These little tricks in preparation for an end-of-term "lolly competition" will create a student who LOVES practicing their scales.
In each of the first few weeks of term, help them achieve perfection (albeit slow perfection) in one of their scales. This way, you are teaching them how they should be practicing their other scales at home by themselves.
Encourage them, reassure them, be patient with them. And really achieve that ability to play the scale with perfectly correct notes.
Show them that they really can do it.
Once you've created (just once!) that true feeling of achievement, you will have set off something strong inside of them. From here on into the term, they only need to be reminded of the approaching "lolly competition" for them to feel the motivation kick in.
All it takes is the right tool (the lolly competition), the knowledge that your students have more potential than you may realize, and the focus to remain consistent with your expectations of them.
Here are a few extra tips that make the whole process super easy:
1. Sound mean about eating lollies in front of your students?! As long as you don't "celebrate their failure" (which would be mean!), you'll see the students rise to the challenge of earning the lolly themselves!
2. Don't want more hyper-active, sugar-laden children in the world? I have used strawberries or blueberries - use your imagination (and the student's too), but be sure to clear any foods that you use with teachers and/or parents if in doubt of allergies.
3. Save the eating of the lollies/fruit to the end of the lesson. No one wants sticky flutes!
4. It's critical that the student is allowed to play the scale as slow as they need to, to be able to get it accurate. You can encourage speed for more competent students, but not at the expense of wrong notes. Your aim is to have the student playing the scale correct, time after time, teaching the fingers the way to play it. Speed is not important at this stage of learning. - correct notes are.
5. The anticipation of the approaching lolly competition is the driver of the students' desire to practice. So be sure to remind them each lesson of how many weeks to go.
6. The key to success is to create that true feeling of achievement for your student in the beginning stages of hyping up the lolly competition. Help them be able to play a scale flawlessly so they feel they know how to practice at home. Be sure to break up the task of playing a scale accurately into smaller and smaller chunks until that chunk is achievable for them.
GO FORTH NOW AND CONQUER SCALES!
Initiate a lolly competition and see the results for yourself.
Wondering how to create a genuine feeling of achievement in your students who just don't seem to be able to play a scale (or anything!) with accuracy?
Read on here about how to create flute students who "learn quickly".
Here's to happy flute teaching!