How to Avoid the “End of the Honeymoon”
by Ian Green
The first few weeks of the music school year are new and exciting. A sense of euphoria overcomes us all as we enjoy the fresh new experiences that are waiting for us. For young music students, this usually means we as teachers and parents can rely on the excitement the children feel to keep them motivated to practice outside of their lessons. But as October and November creep in, many students come to “The End of the Honeymoon.”
What, you may ask, is “The End of the Honeymoon”? In my personal experience as a music educator, “The End of the Honeymoon” is the time in the school year when students, teachers, and parents all experience the regular routine of schedules and the predictability of such activities that occur within the weekly schedule. Things become busy for all of us, and for some students, being self-motivated to practice at home can become a real challenge. Without routine practice, progress falters – motivation drops even lower, and so on. These kids are at risk – risk of not achieving their full potential on their musical journey in life, or worse, at risk for quitting music lessons altogether!
MyMuCo, a music learning system for iPad, is a great motivational tool that is effectively helping students and teachers to move through “The End of the Honeymoon”. It includes features such as the guided practice plans that help students collect and redeem points for their work and track their daily practice schedules within the MyMuCo KIDS app, to the time-saving, one-stop planning center of the MyMuCo Teacher lesson planner. My students call it “fun and engaging!”
In my particular case, I am using MyMuCo within my entire studio. For students that use the MyMuCo KIDS app, tracking their practice sessions, collecting points for their practicing, and engaging in their practicing in regular increments that they can manage offers the natural motivation to want to continue from one week to the next. The app is helping them through “The End of the Honeymoon”! For the students that do not have an iPad, I send a lesson report to their email address (or to the email address of the parent); this has helped to organize students to want to work at home due to the regular sense of connection that comes with the weekly email update. As for me, their teacher, I have found that the organization of materials related to lesson planning by keeping everything in one place has saved countless hours of prep time that I use on other activities.
The coined phrase “The End of the Honeymoon” need not occur; in my particular case, the feeling throughout my studio has been “The Next Step on the Journey”.
To learn more about the benefits of MyMuCo, please visit www.mymuco.com