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#14314 - 12/03/01 08:58 AM Motivation through Money
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
I wasn't sure where to put this topic, but this thread seems like the best place. ;\)

I was wondering if offering parents some sort of rebate program (perhaps in the form of a credit on their account) would be a good way to motivate them to see to it that their children don't miss any lessons & that they practice regularly? The parents could receive the rebate at the end of each year of lessons or something. What do ya'll think?

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#14315 - 12/03/01 09:11 AM Re: Motivation through Money
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I doubt it would work. No reason, just instinct.

I also don't believe in rewarding people for doing what's expected of them.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


www.pianoped.com

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#14316 - 12/03/01 09:26 AM Re: Motivation through Money
Janice Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 01/19/01
Posts: 565
Loc: Newalla, Oklahoma, USA
I agree with Jason, however, I have had a few parents that use money as motivation with their children. They use piano practice as part of their "chores" and they lost money if they failed to do their part. I had 3 families that I know about that did this and the kids were all good students. I think all bribes should be up to the parent. The bookkeeping could get really terrible but the idea isn't bad. \:D I really feel the best reward is feeling good about yourself.

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#14317 - 12/03/01 06:39 PM Re: Motivation through Money
bethann Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 359
Loc: Nebraska
Jalapeno,

I don't think it's necessarily bad to offer an incentive to those who don't miss any lessons. But the practice thing could get a little sticky (for example, could parents insist their child IS practicing regularly, and just not getting any better?) Plus, even though I do think parents need to encourage children to practice, the student needs to be awarded for consistent practice, not the parent. Maybe they could work their way toward a supplementary book of their choice or some other piano-related need.

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#14318 - 12/03/01 07:05 PM Re: Motivation through Money
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
I'm with Jason.

Plus, Bethann makes excellent points.

Even when I used to run my lil' Spring Fling Practice Contests there were always parents who signed that their kid had practiced consistently when it was crystal clear it hadn't happened, and THAT was just for a medallion, sigh.

Face it: we have no control over people's choices and to presume or try otherwise to change 'em is a never ending battle.

Tis better to just follow the motto of the Brownies and Be Our Best at all Times, letting the chips fall where they may whilst knowing we did what we could.

Lisa, now imagining what Jalapeno is thinking about that wee bit o' advice!

[ December 03, 2001: Message edited by: Lisa Kalmar ]

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#14319 - 12/03/01 08:13 PM Re: Motivation through Money
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
You folks have brought up some interesting points. It's certainly true that many parents are not above signing that their children practiced a certain amount of time when all the evidence points to the contrary. :rolleyes: However, I was thinking that the rebate incentive could have some strings attached ['cuz I don't think I'm that naive ;)] such as regular attendance (including summer study) & a good practice record as evidenced by successful completion of all assigned work in a certain length of time (say, completing primer level in less than 12 months' time? I'm thinking here that it should not take anyone more than 6 months to finish primer, but I'm cutting people some slack; I've had students that have taken as long as 1.5 or 2 years to get through primer).

Yes, I agree that students should be rewarded. However, I've had parentally challenged students before--students who expressed interest & had loads of talent, but whose parents had them enrolled in too many extracurricular activites, took a lot of vacations, etc. & therefore weren't even home long enough for the poor kids to practice & progress.

Additional thoughts anyone?

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#14320 - 12/03/01 09:12 PM Re: Motivation through Money
Josh Allen Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/15/00
Posts: 534
Loc: East Texas, USA
Money rewards would only appeal to parents and I've never thought it was my job to motivate parents--just my students (even though I may end up doing both). Besides, I'm worth every penny I am paid because I don't just devote 45 minutes to each student, I spend countless hours outside of lessons bettering myself as a teacher and preparing to teach again. So to base a money-return program on the STUDENT seems to cut the teacher (who prepares for each student, whether that student does well or no) a little short.

However, I will say that I have offered scholarships before. For example, I am now offering a full "Material" scholarship to a family who has two girls enrolled. They pay tuition every month and I do not charge the girls for books that I buy for their use (a lot of times, I use things in my library).

I offered this because:
1) I wanted to
2) The girls are always prepared for lessons and have a desire to better their playing skills
3) The cost of books is a financial burden but the parents were willing to have their daughters continue to take in spite of it
4) Again, I felt like it \:D

Now, the scholarship is no one's business but mine, the students (and their parents), God, and (of course) the IRS ;\)

But a "money-back" policy would be hard for me to embrace. But what works for me doesn't always work for everybody and vica versa!

Josh, I'm in the money--the monopoly money, Allen

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#14321 - 12/04/01 07:45 AM Re: Motivation through Money
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
I don't know what the difference is between offering a rebate (AKA money back) & offering to provide books. The teacher loses money both ways... unless there's a tax advantage in providing books that I'm not aware of. If so, please enlighten me.

I don't like the idea of giving any money back, either. I just know that the gimmicky prizes don't work with students, so I'm trying to think of ways to motivate the parents to motivate their own kids. Since parents are naturally more concerned about their pocketbooks than anyone else (I know that I sure am. I'm always looking for ways to cut corners & save money), I thought the rebate thing might work. Then again, it might not. I've never tried it.

But think about all the companies that offer rebates & incentives to sell their products. It must be working or they wouldn't keep doing it, right? You can't tell me that large corporations are not concerned about the bottom line: profits. ;\)

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#14322 - 12/04/01 08:33 AM Re: Motivation through Money
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Yes, but think of all the service fields that don't offer rebates and incentives. I've never seen any kind of rebate come from lawyers, doctors, educators, consultants, or therapists/counselors. Except for the occasional first free visit or free consultation, these people state their price and that's that.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Jalapeņo:
But think about all the companies that offer rebates & incentives to sell their products. It must be working or they wouldn't keep doing it, right? You can't tell me that large corporations are not concerned about the bottom line: profits. ;\)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


www.pianoped.com

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#14323 - 12/04/01 09:01 AM Re: Motivation through Money
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
Offering a rebate will attract the very parents (the "problem" ones) which you do not want in your studio. Good parents will take it upon themselves to encourage their children out of love and care for them, not out of financial gain.

One important point to consider about money: The more people pay for something, the more they will tend to value it. Special money-back offers de-value the lessons. So, if you want to attract parents and students who will truly value, respect and commit to piano study, make sure you are charging a rate which you deserve.

I feel that what I offer in lessons should be equivalent in money-value to private psychotherapy. (No, this isn't another plug for you to go to a shrink! ;\) \:D ) Now, what would I think of a psychotherapist who offered a special rebate if I came on time to each session and had good dreams to discuss? No respectable therapist would offer such a deal, would they? And isn't private music instruction as valuable, if not moreso, than psychotherapy? I suggest you find out how much therapists in your area charge per session, and consider charging the same for lessons.

I guess what I'm saying is that in terms of the title of this thread, "Motivation through Money"....ironically, charging MORE will be better motivation than charging less or offering rebates. Make sense?

[ December 04, 2001: Message edited by: Eric ]

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