As summer comes to a close, with it comes a renewal of energy, motivation and excitement. School has started back up in some neighborhoods earlier than expected and students everywhere are scrambling to dust out the cobwebs from their “dormant minds.” However, let me take this opportunity to mention that learning is constantly taking place even when grades and standardized tests are absent. There are no grades at Guitar Shed, but there is accountability. Students are pushed to perform at their highest level and encouraged to constantly be looking for opportunities to grow in new directions…. but how do we have accountability if there are no grades?
Fostering intrinsic motivation and showing students how rewarding playing their instrument can be holds both student and teacher accountable. If the teacher does not share the joy of playing music, how will they be able to motivate students to play at home?
Practicing a difficult passage by yourself (intrinsic) and finally nailing it can give students all the motivation they need to pick up their instrument. I strive to create situations where students can experience the satisfaction of playing music on their own. In a culture that is becoming increasingly dependent on extrinsic motivation (to the point that we pay for “likes” and “followers”) intrinsic motivation is all the more valuable. Who knows…. maybe your child’s lessons could even transfer to the desire to get better grades in school?