Motivation/practice rewards for boys

Carissa Lewis said: Nov 3, 2012
2 posts

I just recently got a new student who is a boy. Any practice reward ideas?
For my girls, I let them put beads on a necklace, stickers, etc. Doesn’t seem like boys would be too into that if you know what I mean:)


Christine said: Nov 3, 2012
Christine Goodner
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
Hillsboro, OR
72 posts

Some ideas I’ve used with boys (and girls like them too) …
Monkeys in a Barrel (we hook a new monkey to the stand after each set of repetitions).

Dinosaur walk—I have plastic dinosaurs that students walk from on side of the stand to the other for each set of repetitions.

I will think of a few others and post again soon!

Christine Goodner

Studio Website: Brookside Suzuki Strings

Blog: The Suzuki Triangle

Free eBook: Painless Practice: 7 Principles for Setting up Effective Practice Routines

“When Love is Deep, Much can be Accomplished” ~ Suzuki

Tiffany Holliday said: Nov 3, 2012
Tiffany Holliday
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Eugene, OR
12 posts

Bacon! :)

You can count other things… I have tiny adorable dinosaurs that we count.
You never know though… We place weird gender associations with things
like beads, but boys are just as likely to use them. My 14 year old athlete
doesnt flinch at counting beads. Why dont you think boys would use stickers?
On Nov 3, 2012 12:45 PM, “SAA Discussion”

Michelle McManus Welch said: Nov 3, 2012
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Lindenhurst, IL
42 posts

Stickers of dinosaurs or other more boy friendly things.

Michelle Mc Manus Welch

Julia said: Nov 3, 2012
Julia ProleikoViolin, Piano, Viola
Saint Louis, MO
22 posts

Boys don’t like stickers or beads? As a mother of two boys and a studio over half-filled with boys, that’s a new one on me! Guess you have some very “manly” boys up there in ND!…or perhaps there’s a lot more push from the parents (and teachers?) It’s a given that boys are inherently different from girls, but I have never seen a boy shy away from either of those. I try to use that kind of stuff as little as I can get away with, but have used a variation—putting beads on a pipe cleaner which they put on the handle of their violin case. [I have some kids who transferred it to every new size violin for many years now.] I also do marbles in a jar for practice contests and for the younger kids. In lessons, I use an abacus (or just my fingers), which makes the repetitions very concrete and do-able and gives instant feedback (I only count good repetitions). I think most of my parents have either gone out and bought an abacus or made one at home out of anything from macaroni to pencil-top erasers. Some kids love the edible treat kind: i.e. m&m’s or raisins. There’s also rolling dice for repetitions, which on the whole in my studio the boys seem to enjoy more than the girls (who for the most part like to play it “safe” and offer me a number to which I either accept or reject). I have a folder full of stickers of all kinds for the kids who have a foot chart to pick out each time they remember to bring it…cannot think of a single boy who refused a sticker because they were “girly” BUT can think of a couple of times when a boy picked a princess sticker ‘because she was pretty’ or ‘because she was shiny.’ :)

Robin Lohse said: Nov 3, 2012
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello, Viola
Souderton, PA
29 posts

Having two sons and have taught for over 30 years. I can say that I have done alot of counting. For my youngest son it could be just the number itself that was like score. I would give him stars for every good action point. The we found stones pebbles and marbles of course. The there were jelly beans and chocolate kisses and m & m’s.Part of the fun was finding things to count. It was a concrete way of measuring progress. As a teacher I have done the beading activity with all my students boys and girls alike. It seems to me age of the child is related to liking stickers. As a student gets older the sticker has less value the younger they are boy or girl them love to pick out a sticker for their practice charts. I have the pre-twinklers who love to wear their stickers.

Robin Lohse

Sue Hunt said: Nov 10, 2012
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
391 posts

My boy students like to move around a lot. They are motivated by having a pile of activity cards to do between lesson or practice components. You can use a lucky dip or choose one for the whole session. Jumping jacks or press ups, times the child’s age go down really well, especially when I use my tone of voice to round off the activity break.

Remember, by teaching how to practice, we are teaching deep focus, one of life’s greatest skills.

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