So a few days ago I decided it was time to get the kids back into a piano routine.

We had had an entire month off as we were travelling and I wanted them to ‘hit the ground running’ ready for their first lessons in the new school year. Well did I get some resistance. They were happy in their holiday mode thank you very much and weren’t really interested in doing anything that took any amount of effort whatsoever! So I set a challenge. I worked out there were 13 days before they went back to school so we set up the ’13 Day Challenge’. I could probably have come up with a more interesting name but time was of the essence!

I’m going to admit that I used extrinsic rewards to get them started. I’m a BIG believer that playing the songs in this program well IS the reward but knew I had to be realistic if I was to get them motivated again. The deal was if they played the piano every day for the next 13 days they would win a prize. We wrote out which songs needed review and put them into a ‘Needs Work’ cup and then slowly started transferring them across to the ‘I Can Play’ cup.

Well, I certainly didn’t expect the level of motivation I’ve experienced with them! They actually ask me when is their practice time as they are keen to show me what they have accomplished in a few short days and also want to completely empty their ‘Needs Work’ cup. The methodology behind the delivery of the content in this program means that students experience accelerated results. One child has an entire level back under her fingers and I am listening to her glorious music each day again. The other two have made big inroads into getting their entire playlist back into order again.

Has this been an easy process?

No, it has required extra effort on my part to get this organised. I know once they are all back in the routine I won’t need to be as involved as they are all more than capable of following the process on their own.

Has it been worthwhile?

It has certainly been worthwhile because as we all know there are many developmental benefits for children who play a musical instrument and are immersed in music. I wouldn’t trade the impacts on my kids of a music education for anything.

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