Monday, October 13, 2014

A Master Plan for Elementary School Performances

I truly believe there is an art to hosting elementary school performances (well, pretty much any event, but especially elementary school performances). And believe me, this art (like all art) is cultivated through experiences—both the good and the bad.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Motivation in the Music Classroom

In his book Helping Students Motivate Themselves, Larry Ferlazzo reviews and recommends strategies to encourage intrinsic motivation in students. Ferlazzo warns teachers of the damaging nature of incentives and rewards, citing that they discourage student autonomy and therefore damage students’ ability to be self-motivated. While he does acknowledge that rewards have proven to be effective to get people to do simple routine work, he feels strongly that they don’t promote growth in anything that requires a higher level of thinking in the long run. Ferlazzo also acknowledges that everyone expects and needs “baseline rewards” for good work, but he says to use these as surprise bonuses—not as motivation to complete a task.

Instead Ferlazzo suggests that teachers should regularly reinforce student self-motivation in the following ways: