Engaging and Motivating Students in the Practice Room with Principles from Dweck’s Growth Mindset
Abstract: The large amount of preparation time for some courses creates a lack of physical presence that isolates students and faculty making it hard to establish the essential student-instructor relationship and student-student relationship from week to week. Those students with robust extrovert personalities, higher self-efficacies, and established locus of control perform exceptionally well in these courses. Many others might struggle, especially if they are introverts, performance-avoidance, or struggling with lower levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This ongoing project explores the use of Growth Mindset principles and other motivational theory concepts in private music lessons to stimulate additional practice or more productive practice by the students. Some of those principles include: providing students with choices in repertoire to preform which gives them a sense of self-control; focusing on the individual effort and improvement of a student from week to week instead of comparing them to each other within the studio; minimizing the competition and recognizing the diversity of talents in students; and a robust goal setting system for the week, month, semester, year, and career.