We often describe Kidznotes to potential applicants and school partners as an intensive program which requires a huge commitment from our families and students. Not only are these kids and their parents signing up for 4 after school days and a Saturday of rigorous rehearsals, but also practice time, special performances, and all the ferrying back and forth that concerts and after-school rehearsals require.

One aspect that is often not included when we talk about the intensity of the program is just how long a typical day is for a Kidznotes student.¬†They wake up at six thirty in the morning, go to school for eight hours, get a quick snack,and hang out in music classes until 5:45… That’s a longer day than most adults have to work! Because it is such a long day, sometimes kids can’t concentrate or participate to the best of their ability, especially the younger kids who haven’t been in Kidnzotes before. So how do we make learning fun and enjoyable for our students?¬†HAVE FUN WITH POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT! We do our best to make sure that kids are having fun and enjoying what they are doing.

20140113_162638As soon as a student does something well or accomplishes a difficult task, we reward them! Well-performed scales, proper posture, and participate receive positive attention from the Kidznotes teachers. One way that we reward our students is by stickers. On the board of one of our classrooms, they get to put stickers on a poster. When they reach a certain amount of stickers, the whole class gets to pick a prize out of the treasure box!

Even if it seems a student is never going to make it through a long day of Kidznotes, our teachers still keep their eyes open for the glimmer of light that shows a student is catching on. If there is a student that never answers questions in class, they watch and as soon as that student’s hand shoots up, our teachers can’t wait to give them an opportunity to succeed.

Kids want to succeed whether they show it or not. They want to impress friends, family, and even people they have never met. By making success fun and rewarding, we are sneaking in a lesson in discipline and the stick-to-it spirit that will help them succeed later in life.

-Oakley Lyon
Site Coordinator, Librarian, and Brahms Band Conductor