Having a summer practice goal is a wonderful way to keep kids motivated and growing as musicians. It also makes the most of their free time. If you’re interest in taking on this challenge here’s a list of things to consider.

 

Length of Vacation

The first thing you’ll need to figure out is how many days your child has for summer vacation. Then you can factor in family vacation time and a few full days at the water park. What’s left are the days for the practice challenge.

 

Practice Goal

There are a variety of goals your can set, including:

a) Practice every day. No set time limit. Just accomplish something.

b) Practice 20 minutes every day. Mark your practice record as students achieve their daily goal.

c) Set a a goal of 25 hours. Some kids might like this best, and have the goal completed in a few weeks.

 

Practice Charts

We have a collection of free printable practice charts if you’re interested.

Get Free Practice Charts

clown-with-balloons-practice-chart

 

Reward or No Reward

You’ll also need to decide if the reward of becoming a better musician and playing fun songs is reward enough, or should you provide a reward to work toward.

A research study conducted by Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive: The Suprising Truth About What Motivates Us, looked at a group of preschoolers who chose to spend their “free play” time drawing. The researchers divided the students into three groups. The first was the “expected-award” group. They knew they would get something for completing their assigned goal. The second group was the “unexpected-award” group. They would receive a “Good Player” certificate, though wouldn’t know it’s coming. The third group was the “no-award” group. There was no promise of a reward, and nothing was awarded.

Children in the “unexpected-award” and “no-award” groups drew just as much and enjoyed drawing just as much. However, the children who expected to receive an award showed much less interest in drawing spent much less drawing.

Extrinsic rewarded can be great. You’ll just have to decide if they are right for your kids.

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