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5 Tips to keep your music students engaged in between lessons (featuring Tonara Studio)

Cameron, in Music lessons
Jan 05, 2021 | min read

Being a music teacher is a demanding profession. Not only do you need to teach, but you also need to personalize each lesson for your music students, learn their individual needs and wants, and monitor their progress in between lessons. And if you’re an experienced music teacher then you know this takes up A LOT of time and energy – but it’s always worth it in the end!

So to help you with your crazy schedule, we’ve teamed up with Tonara to share 5 tips on how you can keep your music students engaged in between lessons, and move along in their musical journey more effectively! 

Use fun rewards

Having a reward system is always a great idea – it keeps the younger ones more entertained, enthusiastic about practice, and motivates them to keep going because they know there is something waiting for them at their next lesson. 

One reward system you can use is giving students either stickers, pencils, or small candies. With these material items, you can make it fun by making the rewards either themed or even allow the opportunity to build a collection of all the prizes that are earned. For example, you can choose to do a theme of different music genres with the stickers or see how many pencils each student can collect by the end of the year. Once the year ends, it’s fun to look back at all the pencils that each student has collected and see the progress that they’ve made in just that year!

Another reward system you can use is to create a bit of friendly competition between all the students, in your studio with a leaderboard. With Tonara Studio, your students can log their practice and earn points. The more they practice, the higher they climb on the leaderboard. So you can run a competition for a week or a month, see who gets to the top of the leaderboard and then give them a fun reward like another set of stickers or maybe even something more special, like an ice cream party for the next lesson. 

Although having some competition in your studio might sound scary, it shouldn’t be. Remind your students that although it’s fun to see who is at the top of the leaderboard, it’s more important that they’re consistently practicing to improve their playing and not only to earn points. Furthermore, students can compete with themselves – having a leaderboard can inspire the student to see if they can practice more this week than they did the previous one and reach a higher spot. Remind your students that the friendly competition is there to help motivate them to practice more so they can continue improving. 

Include fun pieces

As you don’t see your students daily, you hope that they’ll practice consistently for 30 minutes a day, more or less. Unfortunately, not all music students are eager to go home and do this every day. 

A great way to engage your students is by assigning them a fun piece or exercise that they need to practice in addition to the other materials. 

Maybe you want to have them start practicing a piece that they’ve been wanting to learn for a while. Or maybe it’s a very popular song that they’re singing all the time and now have the opportunity to learn. 

It’s good to let your students know that they can practice their fun piece at the end of their practice once they’ve completed everything else. Although you want to make practice more fun and engaging, you still need them to practice the lesson material and be prepared for the next lesson. 

Keep track of their practice progress

You’ve had your lesson and you’ve given your students assignments that they will need to practice. But how will you know if they practice or not? Unfortunately, many teachers will have to wait until the next lesson to find out. This results in spending the first part of the class going over what was learned last week and the second half of it teaching the new materials. That’s where Tonara Studio comes in handy. 

With Tonara Studio, you can easily manage your studio and motivate your music students to practice more in between lessons while making practice more fun and engaging! 

Tonara’s music education platform rewards students with points, a spot on the leaderboard, stickers, and more based on the duration of their practice sessions and how often they’re practicing. These fun incentives push students to practice more! In addition, when students are practicing with Tonara Studio, the app is listening to their playing and tracking the details of their practice including, which days, how long they practiced for, and much of an assignment was completed. All of this information is then stored in the database, and shared with you. So when it comes time for you to log on, you can check what the student is doing and how their practice sessions are going. You also have the ability to message students within the app to give them an extra boost or help them out with a tough section they’re getting stuck at!

By the time the lesson comes, you can focus on the sections the student is struggling with and move forward with their training!

Get their parents involved

We’ve gone over how to make practice more fun for the students and how you can track their practice progress. It’s now time to get their parents involved as well! Instead of having the parents check-in on the practice sessions, you can use Tonara Studio for this. Get the parents involved in a different way but making it a fun experience for the child and parents! 

A fun way to get them involved is by having your students try to teach their parents a section of one of their own songs. Without a doubt, you’ll have more engaged students, but you’re also allowing the parents to spend time with their children and take part in the music journey. Who knows, maybe even the parents will want to start taking lessons!

Another fun way to involve your students’ parents, is by creating a small competition between the parents to see who can complete a section of a piece faster and more accurately. It helps get all of your students and parents involved. It’s also an easy way for the parents to stay updated with their children’s training without always asking you for updates or checking the Tonara Studio app. 

You can think of it as a win-win-win solution! 

Use metronomes to your advantage

During the lesson, you probably already have a metronome in your class or study, making it easy and convenient to use. But what happens when your student goes home? They certainly can’t take your metronome with them…

That’s where Soundbrenner comes in to save the day! We offer a variety of wearable products, so finding the right one that fits you and your students’ needs should be easy. 

The Core offers a vibrating metronome so it won’t distract your student from their practice too much, a contact tuner, db meter, smartphone notifications, multi-day battery life, and it’s splash resistant. Plus it has a sleek design, and you can connect the watch to our free metronome app for additional customization and even DAW synchronization. 

The Pulse, on the other hand, offers a vibrating metronome for haptic learning, and multiplayer sync which allows for both you and your student to sync up, and the ability to connect the watch with Soundbrenner’s app. Both devices are cross-play enabled, which means you sync up to 5 Pulses or Cores (or a mix of both) together so that everyone can play at the same tempo.

Both devices are a great option for your student to not only stay in time during lessons, but will also enable them to properly work on their practice assignments before their next lesson rather than skipping them because they don’t have a metronome. 

What’s even better is that for music teachers and educators, Soundbrenner offers an exclusive affiliate program with huge discounts on their wearables. You will also be able to earn money by referring Soundbrenner products to your students. Not having a metronome is no longer an excuse!
For more information on our teacher affiliate program, click here: https://www.soundbrenner.com/work-with-us/music-teachers


This blog post is in collaboration with Tonara. 

About Tonara: 

Tonara is a music education company looking to harness the power of technology to move music education forward. Tonara Studio, their flagship app and platform motivates music students to practice and enables their teachers to track practice sessions and keep them engaged in between lessons. Tonara Connect, their music education marketplace, makes it easier for students to find the right teacher for their learning needs, and for teachers to promote their online and local music lesson studios.

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