Music Studio Motivators! with Educator and Clarinetist Alisa Hines

Date Posted: May 04, 2016

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Alisa Hines is a Vandoren Regional Artist. The goal of the Vandoren Regional Artist program is to enhance the quality of the music experience in your school.  This is made possible by Vandoren and a network of woodwind professionals around the country with a passion for music education and performance.

Benefits of Music as an extra-curricular activity:


Usually hard work will pay off, but when you do not get the outcome you want, you need to look at the positives that come from the experience and look for new ways to achieve your goals.

Finding the joy in playing music

I have asked my students if any of them have ever experienced the “goose bumps” feeling. It is different for each kid. You don’t have to be the superstar to truly experience the joy of music.

Learning to be part of a team

It isn’t all about “you” -- even your audience is part of the team.


Alisa Hines, Regional Artist Clinic at H&H Music, Houston, TX


Recently, I asked my students what motivation techniques have helped them the most. The ironic thing is that many of them said, “Fear!” and “I don’t want you to yell at me.”  What they were really trying to say is how they don’t want to disappoint me.

Motivation Techniques and Rewards:

Stickers: lots of them. Kids love stickers. It doesn’t matter if they are 10 years old or a boy in high school.

“Fake Region”: To prepare for region band tryouts, I have all of my students make up a fake name.  Then I have them compete  against each other on region cuts for the three weeks leading up to  region band auditions during their private lesson.

Summer Goals: I write 3 small goals for the student on a piece of paper each week. If the student achieves the goal, they go in the jar.  At the end of the summer I do a drawing for candy prizes and an iTunes gift card.

Club 13:  I have a sticker chart with all of my students’ names on it.  When they have their scales memorized and play them off, they get a sticker for each scale.  Once all major and chromatic scales are memorized, they are in “Club 13.”

Travel animal: In a band masterclass setting, I let the student with the highest score each week keep a little stuffed elephant that fits in his/her case. It is passed around each week and the person who wins it the most at the end of the contest gets to keep it.

“The Great Swab Contest”: Every other year I like to teach the Klosé "Scale Sequence" in the spring (a popular clarinet method book). The person who achieves the most scales by memory wins a tie-dyed clarinet swab. There is a prize for each grade level 7th-12th grade.



Performance Opportunities for Students

Fun concerts for people with mental disabilities. This concert is interactive and teaches the community about music. Because it is a low pressure environment, every student leads by giving instrument demonstrations, ensemble performances and solos presentations.

Play at a church.

Student recitals, can be combined with other studios and share an accompanist.

Local masterclasses and clinics.

Nursing homes and going to the schools of younger students.

Local symphony concerto competitions.

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