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The Ten Club (using membership resources)

January 19, 2010
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Want a fun way to help your students increase their performance repertoire?  Try the Ten Club!

While a pedagogy student I learned the importance of helping students create and maintain a repertoire of performance-ready pieces.  In my desire to create a fun and motivating way for my students to do that I created the Ten Club. The purpose of the Ten Club is to motivate students to build up and maintain a repertoire of ten performance-ready pieces, which they can play at any time and under any circumstance.  In my studio, to be inducted into the Ten Club a student must:

1. Learn and memorize ten pieces (multi-movement pieces are often counted as more than one piece).
2. Keep them all performance ready
3. Perform each piece at least one time in public (studio recitals are a great time to fulfill this part of the club requirements).

Only after they have mastered all ten pieces do they become a member of the club.

Ten memorized and performance ready pieces sounds like an incredible and overwhelming challenge, doesn’t it?  And yet, it really ends up being much easier than it sounds.  It starts with just one piece.  Once the first piece is well on its way and memorization has begun you introduce a second piece to start learning.  When the first piece is mostly or completely memorized then it’s time to begin memorizing the second piece, while you introduce a third piece to begin learning, etc.  Before you know it the goal has been met.  The Piano Repertoire List is an excellent way to help you and your student keep track of how many pieces have been learned and how many more pieces are needed before becoming a Ten Club member. Each time a student masters a piece and performs it the piece gets added to the list.

As a side note, in order to keep ten pieces memorized ongoing it is important for you to continue having your student review (and playfor you) the pieces he/she has memorized. Once a piece has been learned (and even performed) it does NOTget tossed to the side.  Instead, it is important to continue to re-assign (for review) pieces from the Repertoire List every so often.  After all, the goal with the Ten Club is to always have tenpieces ready to perform at any time.

The sense of accomplishment a student receives when accomplishingthis goal is amazing.  What an opportunity for confidence buildingthis is, and what an opportunity it is for you to praise your student — your student is smart, capable, dedicated, diligent, ahard-worker, a good performer, etc.  Remind them of this often and justwatch them blossom.

On top of the internal sense ofaccomplishment a student feels when accomplishing this goal there is the added bonus of earning an external REWARD.  In my studio a student who accomplishes this goal gets two external rewards:  (1) the Ten Club Award certificate, and (2) a reward of his/her choosing.  At the beginning of each new set of 10 pieces I have mystudent start thinking of things he/she wants to receive when the goal has been accomplished.  I put a cap on the cost of the reward, but other than that the student can chooseany reward that he/she wants.  I have given out charm bracelets (andcharms), new pieces of music, stone elephants, cash, a trip toChuck-E-Cheese, etc.  The reward doesn’t have to be music-related, it just hasto be fun for the student and something which will motivate him/her tokeep working toward the goal.

Once your student has accomplished the goal of learning and performing ten pieces you don’t need to discard them all and start anew.  Rather, in order to keep ten pieces memorized at all times it is better to simply replace one old piece with one newer piece until the Repertoire List is filled with ten newer pieces.  And, once the student has learned ten new pieces again he/she willreceive another award certificate and another reward.

There are so many ways to make the Ten Club a fun experience for your student.  Consider having a “Bravo Board” where you can list your student’s Ten Club accomplishment.  Or, perhaps have a section of your studio set aside specifically for posting pictures and notifications of accomplishments of your Ten Club members.  Be creative and make this a fun and rewarding experience for your student.  It is well worth the effort and time to accomplish this goal!  Your students will always have something to play when a friend asks, “Do you play the piano?  Cool.  Will you play something for me?,” or for school talent shows, church programs, recitals and more.

And, as a reminder, money which you spend on rewards and incentives or any other studio materials such as a Piano Discoveries membership — hint, hint! 😉 — are business expenses which can be used as a tax write-off at the end of the year.

Become a Piano Discoveries member today and access the Ten Club materials, Repertoire list, and other incentive resources to use in your studio!

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