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Teaching Theme for 2011-12

Ahoy Mateys!  For the first time I am going to attempt a piano theme for the year.  Many other teachers center their teaching around a theme for the year to promote excitement and incentives for the year.  After working this year in a Music Camp where I used a pirate theme, I decided to take that theme and run with it.  So the theme for my studio for 2011-12 is

                                       Hidden Treasures!

I am already thinking of games and activities around the theme, but the first thing I wanted to do was make an incentive chart for the students using none other than a Treasure Map!  The students are going to collect jewels (inexpensive beads) to spend in the Treasure Chest and they can chart their progress on the map.

The map could be used in a variety of ways:
1. Mark off a dot for each goal reached
2. Mark off a dot for each piece (measures) memorized
3. Mark off a dot for each new technique mastered
4. Combination of any or all
5. Other incentives for the year

Each time the student meets a special symbol on the map (ship, pirate or treasure chest) they are promoted to a new position on the ship.

I am throwing around the idea of collecting a different pirate goodie each time they reach a symbol on the map.  I am either going with pirate silly bands or rubber duckies that look like pirates.  This would be in addition to the jewels they get to spend in the treasure chest.

I haven't worked out all the details, but I think they will need 5 jewels to cross off each dot on the map. Any ideas you guys have are more than appreciated!

Here is a look at the treasure map if you are interested in sailing the high seas with me:


  1. Hi Jeana,
    Can you share what you plan on having as goals for students to accomplish in order for the student to move through the map?

  2. Sure thing! I am very excited about my new incentive chart. I will get a post together soon!

  3. I am adapting your wonderful idea to use till the end of the year. Just wondering what kinds of things you use and number of jewels needed to buy your different things at group lessons. Thanks for sharing. Love your ideas and worksheets.

  4. I just had a group lesson where the kids spent their jewels. The top 'pirate' had 120 jewels, so the most expensive thing was 100 jewels, which was $4.00-$5.00 prizes. I took it down from there based on the price of the item I bought. I had items for as little as 10 jewels, like little candy, pencils and $1.00 items for 40 jewels. The kids loved it!


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