Using incentives for students; listening library : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Hello! I'm just getting my piano studio started. This message board is EVER so helpful!! Does anyone use or recommend using incentives for their students?? I've heard of other teachers using candy, music dictionaries after they receive a certain # of "points" for pieces passed off, and music trinkets, etc. Just wondering if you advise this. Also, I thought it would be neat to have a listening library of classical CD's to loan out to students who don't have classical music in their homes. I think listening to classical music is important when learning to play the piano, but I don't recall seeing this mentioned anywhere. Thanks so much for your help!!!!!!

-- Laurie (, February 20, 2002


I rarely use incentives with my students. They don't work in the long run. I set my goal as having the student work hard because it is productive and satisfying. If you don't start out offering incentives, they won't expect them. I think they feed into the wrong kind of mentality (I'll do this if you give me something).

I also have a CD lending library, but I have learned that it is extremely important to both write your name on the CD and to keep record of who you lent what and when it is returned. Otherwise, you will lose them.

-- Arlene Steffen (, February 22, 2002.

I like the idea of listening library, but I wonder if it might be possible, if you own the orginal cd, to send them home a copy that they return. Does anyone out there know the copyright rules on this? I have a burner, but I want to use it legally. Also, I have tried the incentives stickers and candy. Of course kids like it but I wonder about whether it is really effective. It is hard to tell a child they can't have it when they don't have their peice ready.

-- Rachael (, May 05, 2002.

I also have a CD burner, and a computer-savvy guy I know said that if you make a copy of "some", but not all of the songs, and maybe even re-arrange the order of them, then you can call it a "mix", because you're picking and choosing what you want on it, as opposed to just copying the whole CD. Of course, you're not allowed to sell it, but for creating a music lending library I think it's a great id

-- alexandra (, May 05, 2002.

The listening library is a wonderful idea. I love to share as much music during lessons as possible. I also would love to imagine my students listening to piano music at home and using intelligent listening to enable them to make their own musical decisions in their music. The idea of burning CD's from our library has a hint of copy right infringement - big time - and although it is tempting to do this it puts us over the line professionally. It is similar to copying music to give to students. I believe that the law states we can make copies for our own personal use. Some one out there, please clear this issue up. It is very important. I have had this discussion else where and this conclusion is what we ended up with. I love to see the actual law.

-- Ellen Johanse (, May 06, 2002.

The idea of a listening library is excellent. I try to to different things with my students without a points system. I have found that the "Stories of the Great Composers" series by Alfred is a wonderful way to listen, learn music history, and teach music theory at the same time. These books come with CD's and I think they are wonderful!

-- Angela Hartman (, August 12, 2002.

How about rewarding students with some fun pop titles? I'd like to suggest that you consider the Warner Bros. series entitled LOONEY TUNES PIANO LIBRARY. I am one of the arrangers in that series and they are LOTS of fun and the students really love the titles and teachers love that the arrangements are pedagogical sound. There are approx. 20 books in the series at all levels (1-4) that match the levels in all major piano method books -- including Alfred, Faber/Faber and Bastein, etc. The series is mixed with a variety of musical genres. They range from light jazz, Broadway, movie titles, pop/rock standards and even some Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC and Britney Spears. The books are also available with fully orchestrated audio CD and MIDI floppy disks. Here is a link to one of the titles:

*** Foghorn Leghorn's Hot Hits *** ( upc=ELM01042CD&type=print&mscssid=584V5LW351439GM4UG8U3P4556NJCJV5)

Hope this helps. I'd love any feedback on how you and your students untilized the books. Are there any other types of books you'd like to see available that might assist you with your musical endeavors?

Have a great summer!!! Jerry Ray

P.S. Can you stand just one more "shamless plug"... ? Here's a link to a Christmas CD I arranged and recorded recently that many people/teachers have used as Christmas gifts for students, student awards, friends or family. Hope you enjoy.


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-- Jerry Ray (, August 14, 2002.

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