Here’s a preview of the cards for our two contests this fall!
This year’s practice contest is back to basics–5 days (my standard practice requirement) is a gold star; 4 days is silver; 6 or 7 is “bonus” and students can pick a “fun” color to put on. Students set their own “time” goals together with me, but those function primarily as a guideline. Exceptionally great achievement can result in bumping up a level for that week; exceptionally non-achievement may result in bumping down a level. (Kudos to you all, though, based on everybody’s recent track record I doubt I will be doing very many bump-downs!)
The twist: Instead of a year-end prize, you can win music throughout the school year! Every 15 silver stars, 12 gold stars, or 10 bonus stars, students can pick a CD out of my “music box” (and yes, I know it’s the digital age, but I haven’t figured out how to legally give away downloads yet! :)) There will be a good mix in there, from symphonic to fiddle to probably some soundtracks or who knows what–we’ll see what I come up with; hopefully something for everyone!
The scale contest is something almost all of the intermediate-level students are working on now. This is a systematic way to work through the 2-octave scales and arpeggios, becoming comfortable in many keys and at a consistent level of scale performance. It is excellent preparation for the “standard” 3-octave scales that students will use at advancing levels.
For the contest, all the 2-octave scales and their corresponding arpeggios are divided into levels according to difficulty. Students can win prizes each time they complete a level for either scales OR arpeggios, or variations such as thirds and different forms of minor. Right now the prize box contains everything from pencils and bookmarks to baseball cards to packets of tea, coffee (decaf!) and hot chocolate–and I’m always looking for fun things to add!