I usually have several piano practice incentives running in my studio throughout the year. This year, I added an easy to manage incentive: The A-Train.
I designed a train, printed it on magnetic paper and mounted it on the main notice board where everyone can see it. I bought some magnetic strips from a craft store and made a small magnetic name tag for each student.
My students score a grade each week for their practice. If I can hear from their performance in the lesson that they have worked on what I assigned them, I give them an "A". If they haven't made much progress that week, I give them a "B" or a "C" depending on how they do.
Students who score 4 consecutive A's, get to board the A-Train. I put their name magnet on one of the train carriages. As long as they continue to score A's, they stay on the A-Train. Scoring a B or a C means their name is removed from the train, and they have to score 4 consecutive A's to get back on the train.
This has been very effective this year - particularly with the elementary school students. No-one wants their name removed from the train and on the occasions where someone has been removed, they have worked very hard to get back on the train.
There is no prize for staying on the A-Train. Just seeing their names on the train seems to be a prize in itself!
Want to try the A-Train? Click here to download and print it. You can use regular paper and add the student names using push pins. I preferred magnets, but push pins can work too.