The countdown to the new school year has begun…
Judging from the crowd at the teacher supply store last week, I’m not the only one who has kicked into planning mode for the year! I’ve spent the last couple of weeks cleaning and organizing my studio and prepping student materials – including putting the finishing touches on materials for a new studio incentive program. Since I know many of you are working on similar projects, I thought I’d share what we’ll be working on this year, in case it provided a bit of inspiration.
This is Your Brain on MUSIC!
This is a syllabus-based incentive program. The printable goal sheet below gives students a fun, visual way to keep track of their goals for the year, and learn a little bit about the different parts of their brain involved in music-making along the way. Each different musical skill (sightreading, rhythm, ear training, etc.) is linked to a corresponding region of the brain:
As we work toward each of these goals, students will get to check, tally and add stickers to the sheet. By the end of the year, these should be VERY colorful!
If you look closely, you’ll notice several blanks and white spaces on the sheet with space to write in customized goals for each student. Here’s a look at a sheet with technique goals added:
For an added bit of fun, I also made these colorful Cranium Coins, pictured below. Each time a student checks a goal off of their sheet, they’ll get to add a coin to a big collection tank in the studio. If students earn a collective 1,000 coins or more over the course of the school year, we’ll celebrate with an extra group lesson at the end of our spring semester… complete with “brainy” finger foods and a musical game of Cranium!
The files for the Student Goal Sheets and the Cranium Coins are available below, as well as on the Studio Aids page. They’re available in both PDF and MS Publisher formats. If you use Publisher and would like to adapt this for your own studio, feel free to edit!
The Student Goal Sheets print on 11 x 17 tabloid-size paper. I usually have my incentive sheets printed at a local UPS Store, as my home printer doesn’t accommodate tabloid paper. If you prefer to print these at home, you can change your printer settings to print on multiple sheets and use 2 standard-sized pages of typing paper. The sheets fit quite nicely inside the clear cover on a 3-ring binder, or can be folded and slipped inside a clear plastic page protector.
For the Cranium Coins, you’ll need a 1 1/2″ circular craft punch (available at hobby and craft stores). Make sure that your printer is set to “no scaling”, so that the coins print at their full size.
And… for any of you who take a closer look at the Goal Sheet and wonder what materials I’m using for each of the different categories (i.e. Rhythm Packets and Creative Projects), stay tuned! I’ll be sharing more in a follow-up post later this week.