32 Day Challenge ideas
Some weeks ago, we were discussing the start of the 32 day challenge. Just wondering how it went (% participation/completion?), and how you brought it to closure? Any “aha” moments or things to share? with parents providing incentives/prizes – did you just leave that part of it for families to do on their own, or did you make any of it public and invite parents to present prizes to their children?
I had nearly 100% participation – everybody started, but some quickly decided no thanks, and perhaps that reflects as well on the coaches who allow that decision. Somehow I still feel the desire to offer something as a reward to those who worked hard to do it, but want to stress the value of intrinsic rewards, so we are going to celebrate with an ice cream party, at which time I’ll also present certificates for students who recently completed a Foundation.
Kristina H., Australia
I just completed a 30 day challenge with my students. It was a real motivator and a great success. I had 24 students participate, and all 24 got whole heartedly involved. I had a couple of students who practiced every single day, the results were very noticeable at my concert. My challenge was geared towards a scheduled concert.
I gave out 3 Major prizes, 2 child ones and one adult prize. And everyone received a small chocolate treat for participating. I announced the winners at the concert. It was a positive experience for all involved. I had my name on the chart also. I had a large chart and everyone would come and put stickers under their name each week, at the end of the challenge all the stickers were counted up. It was really fun, and the cost for a great outcome was minimal.
The prizes I gave were $10 value each. Games for the kids, and a box of chocolates for the adult prize. Next time I may do iTunes vouchers or movie tickets or something similar.
I will definitely be doing the challenge again. It is a great way to re-visit and reinforce the practice conversations.
I had most kids and a couple teens sign up with about 85% completing. I had an ice cream party & bought gift cards that were raffled off. Glad I ran the challenge as it kept folks motivated as the good weather hit.
Nicole O., California
I am soooo happy to hear that you guys are using the 32 day challenge in your studios! It’s been a year and a half since I started it in the studio and the poster is still up. Kids will complete the 32 days and usually take a little break (or continue). If they get sidetracked being off the challenge they’re asking to be put back on the board to start it again. Others are on their way to completing 400 days! It’s made a lot of difference in their relationship to practice.
Now, however, we’re looking at the “how” of practice. How do you spend those 20 to 30 minutes? For many it’s a race to the finish and every song sounds the same. I’ve recently been having longer conversations about how to break up their practice time (as opposed to playtime). And with the students who really wanted some advice about it, it’s made a big difference. Learning how to make something a “practice” is a learned behavior for sure… And to not rush through it is the only way to get maximum results.
Just thought I’d share:) and I love hearing your stories about how it’s been used in your studios!
We used the 30-Day Challenge in our studio in May. It was a smashing success! We put every student’s name on the chart, whether they were participating or not. We saw that even those who weren’t participating increased their practice days anyway. Yeah! Everyone who finished the challenge had their name put in the hat and then we drew for a $25 gift card to their favorite restaurant or store.
Because we didn’t feel we could give a prize to each student, we asked every parent to discuss with their child what would be a nice prize that they could promise their child if they finished the challenge. I am my grandson’s coach and his love language is time spent together. So we have a date this weekend and I am taking him to dinner (just the 2 of us) and then we are going to see the new monsters movie. He is beyond excited! This was great for me too, as I saw the challenges first hand to getting that every day practice in. Whew! There were some days where we almost didn’t make it. I can see why some parents just give up! This is going to make me a better teacher as I can empathize with them so much better.
I’m also glad we picked the month of May as it is so busy for families. This way their practicing didn’t just drop by the way side. Hard, but so worth it!
I have a small studio with 11 students, 9 of which are children. We began the 30-day challenge in May leading up to the recital. I asked the adults if they wanted to participate, but there was no choice for the children. Of the 9 children, I had 100% participation for the 30 days. I had each child’s name on a large chart on the wall with the 30 days marked off. Each child adhered a sticker for each day of practicing. I gave each student a $5 gift card to Dairy Queen which was inside a small bag with a chocolate bar. They seemed happy with that! I will definitely do this again next year. Thanks for the great idea.