Nowadays children are born into a fast-paced, technology-driven world, that changes rapidly and remarkably every day. Accepting the idea that today’s children cannot be motivated the same way as 20 years ago could help to adopt some new motivation strategies. Among the well-known approaches such as choosing a good variety of repertoire, performing in festivals and recitals, and parent involvement, there are a few, less common ways to motivate and inspire Gen Z students.
Shorter concept – Faster progress
As piano teachers, we are forced to compete with sports, tutoring and other social activities. How to succeed in the world of overscheduling and overstress? As a matter of fact, the teacher’s detailed lesson planning will provide students with achievable and easy-to-digest weekly practice objectives. Breaking down bigger concepts into smaller elements and working on them making the connection throughout the repertoire. It helps to hold a better retention rate of learned material and allows shorter periods of practice with intense focus rather than prolonged periods of half-hearted, thoughtless one.
- Read how the Piano Heroes method utilizes short concepts to help students stay focused and motivated.
Get creative – Get heard
Eradicating the old-fashioned industrial structure of thoughtless repetition and swapping it for creative ways to work on a piece boosts interest and keeps students involved e.g. can you practice measures 12-24 with your left-hand silent? What if you try to exaggerate dynamics? Can you practice Movement 2 with two different articulations? Can you come up with a jazz/sentimental/slow accompaniment for Part A of the Sonatina? Awakening the student’s creative imagination and thinking process on how and when the piano piece was born, and who were the first performers, listeners will boost the student’s interest to reveal hidden facts and find connections with the composer, epoch, and the piece itself.
Rediscover Mozart in each student
Regrettably, our society is fully oriented on goal setting, test passing and on documented achievements. Instilling the ideology that they are not working toward the next test, but toward deeper understanding and mastering the piano art will definitely gear students to meet their own expectations. At the same time, an exam or a test will become proof of a student’s achievement to others. The key point of inspiration and motivation is to encourage students to work on the repertoire to their own satisfaction and enjoyment by providing our best professional feedback. The feedback, will give them wings, not tie them to the ground.