The #1 Thing That Can ROCK Your Studio!

The #1 thing that I look forward to each year in my studio is getting ready for the new school year. I absolutely LOVE coming up with a new theme, new goals for the year, etc… I have noticed when I change things up each year with a new theme it keeps me from burning out.

Incentive Program CollegeNow if doing these yearly incentive programs helps keep me from burning out, you can bet it can do the same for students. The top 3 reasons from a teacher standpoint of why yearly incentive programs can ROCK your studio are:

  1. Keeps students motivated and engaged all year long.

  2. Keeps students on task with meeting their goals.

  3. Sets you apart in your area.

But I’m sure you don’t want to just here this from me, so I asked my students first hand what they thought about the yearly incentive programs. These are the reasons students are saying why incentive programs ROCK! (Quotes from students)

Its always super fun when you make a new theme and have new games to play and new piano concert pieces for us to play.

It gives me a new approach to playing the piano and new pieces to learn and new piano themed games.

I like the yearly themes because it gives more goals & it’s organized & fun. 

I do think the program’s help me stay focused & motivated because it keeps me practicing to move forward with the theme.

It’s always fun to see the ideas you put together!

It gives me something to look forward to at the end when I hear everyones piece that goes along with the theme at our spring recital.

It is a fun experience leveling up, but the songs motivate me the most.

A lot of them are fun…Sometimes we get to color and do fun activities.

Mrs Foxx gives songs based on the theme. I just like the songs that are based on the themes. Having the songs based on the themes makes it a little funner to play the songs.

I loved having themes every year, it gave me a fun goal to work towards. It also brought out my competitiveness, which doesn’t come out often, with me not playing sports. With prizes and trophies, no matter how hard you worked, you were rewarded.
The themes gave an innocent sense of competition that motivated you to work harder on your pieces throughout the year. The themes encouraged us to finish the map, or get gold in the Olympics, and so on. 

The extra effort in doing these programs in my studio have always been worth the time and expenses it has taken to run them. While incentive programs won’t motivate all students, it will help with many. And at the very least it helps keep them in lessons longer, so they can get through those little (and big) bumps that happen along the way. I highly recommend that if you have never done a yearly incentive program to give it a try. I would also suggest implementing a studio fee if you haven’t already so you can cover any of the expenses behind the program.

You can check out some of the incentive programs I have available here.


Did you hear? A BIG celebration event is coming in a few weeks! Check it out here.

2 thoughts on “The #1 Thing That Can ROCK Your Studio!

  1. I love the idea of doing an incentive program — and acknowledge that personally I have neither the energy nor the desire to come up anything this complex from scratch! One of the reasons I have hesitated in the past, is my concern that for many of my students, some of the incentive programs I have seen seem to be geared towards younger/elementary students. My studio is fairly small, divided pretty equally between a handful of young beginners (7-9), a handful of teens (13-16) and the same number of adults. Some of the visuals look pretty little-kid oriented, in this year’s Musical Quest.

    I have a couple of questions for you. First, what age groups do you use these incentive programs with in your studio? Second, if I wanted to use them with older students, could the materials with cute illustrations be left out? Are the games and activities little-kid/beginner-oriented? Third, what level would you say this program is for? I know ‘level’ is a nightmare term — maybe you could compare using PA levels, which I think most people know. For instance, would students who are playing early level standard repertoire (Gurlitt, Turk, L Mozart, etc) find the level appropriate?

    I would also be interested in hearing from or about other teachers who have used your programs in the past!

    Thanks,
    Kathy G

    1. Kathy, thanks for your comment because you reminded me of something else I was going to write! In my studio, students from pre-K all the way up to high school participate. 50% of my studio is teenagers. I have a senior that just graduated but is continuing lessons this year. I emailed her to let her know that participating in the program as well as our groups and camps is completely optional for her but if she wants to, she is always welcome to participate. Her reply? She wants to participate! By the way, the very first quote on the top is from her!

      Now what I might do if I was brand new to this whole thing is I would give some of my teenagers the option to participate or not. Some of them might care less. Most of my teenagers have been with me a while so they just expect it and look forward to it.

      As far as the quest goes, the visuals and idea definitely cater to the elementary students especially with the video’s. But the teenagers may still get a “kick” out of it. Really I think it’s all about personality. My teenagers will get a kick out of it and think it’s humorous.

      The nice thing about the programs that I do is for the most part it isn’t necessarily “level” based. So for example for our quest this year there are 8 challenges. 3 of those challenges are technique/artistry. I just give a “general” challenge in that category and let you, the teacher decide exactly how to implement. Really I do that with all of them.

      I have 2 options for teachers to choose from with this particular program because I want teachers to cater it to their studio. One is the “general” option where you have the complete reigns in what to do with students as far as their challenges are. You can even make your challenges to go along with your state music program etc… I just introduce that they are on that challenge and you take it from there.

      Then the other option is more specific. On the 5 other challenges I do give more specific options, like Knight’s Note Tournament, Niddy Noddy Rhythm Wars, and so on. If you wanted you can use some of those with just your elementary students and the “general” challenge cards with your upper elementary.

      I hope that makes sense. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Oh and if you go to TpT, you can read some of the comments from teachers on the individual files here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Fpsresources/Category/Incentive-Programs.

      Here are a couple others from emails I have received:

      “Thanks for all your great resources! I’ve always been impressed with the creativity you demonstrate in all your products, and thanks for sharing them with all of us.” Nancy

      “You are a creative genius! Thank you for putting the Medieval Quest together. I am having a blast rehauling my music studio for the kids to return to in August.” Barbara

      By the way, Barbara shared with me how she is using the quest and it is a little different than how I am, which I love to see! 🙂

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