Motivating pre-teens


Rebekah said: Jan 28, 2008
Rebekah Hanson
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
9 posts

It seems as though many students reach middle school and lose interest in lessons. I know their lives become busier with school, extra curricular activities and social interests. Does anyone else notice this issue? How do you keep them motivated and interested in playing and practicing?

Any info you have is much appreciated.

Thank you!

said: Oct 27, 2008
 63 posts

Ah, to play an orchestral instrument! My piano students are even more difficult to keep motivated and in piano lessons.

The most successful students I have had as far as continuing are the ones with continued support and praise from their parents. In one family, it was the father that practiced with all four children. He came to lessons, gradually transferred the note-taking to the children, but still enjoyed listening to them and encouraged them in their practicing while reading a book on the sofa.

When the older students are “the big fish in the little pond”, it takes more effort to get them to be around others who are like them. Plus they are setting their own goals. So it is important to expose them to concerts, especially ones given by “amateur” musicians who may be fairly close to their own age. I have taken them to concerts at our University, where there are plenty of concerts given by students who are only a few years older, may not be perfect, but who are presenting the “next level” up and may spark a renewed interest. Plus these concerts are free, so any field trips I can organize as a group class to a concert I try to do.

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