In addition to virtual lessons, I am offering my students a virtual practice contest to keep them motivated/practicing during this unusual time!
1. Set up a Facebook Group or Zoom for your Studio families. (Or some other way for the studio members to communicate with each other.)
2. Group students into pairs. For younger students, this will involve the parents to coordinate FB/Zoom/or phone messages between the two kids. Preferably take into account the students’ age/level and friends they already have in the studio.
3. Have each pair choose a team name. Examples from my studio: Double Treble, Forte Fairies, DR. Music, etc.
4. Students should print out a lesson/ practice sheet each week. I use the sheet from the Step-By-Step series. This will help guide them through lessons and keep track of their practice points. I told them they can receive a total of 10 points per practice for the following:
Either 10 check-marks on their sheet
Or: A solid, in-depth practice
3-5-year-olds: 15 minutes
6-8-year-olds: 20 minutes
9-11-year-olds: 30 minutes
Middle Schoolers: 45 minutes
High Schoolers: 1+ hours
They earn an additional point if they listen to their song!
5. They should check in with their teammate periodically to ensure he/she is practicing. (They can come up with their own motivations/cheers/etc.)
6. Students post videos to your FaceBook Studio Group or Zoom. This allows the students performance opportunities, since many of their recitals are cancelled. It also teaches them how to perfect/ record their music, which can feel different from live performance–an important skill for 21st-century musicians in a digital age!
7. The team that earns the most points by the end of quarantine wins a championship music trophy!