It’s hard to believe we’re already half way through September. The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping… Fall is coming. And, as promised, the new version of Dr. Flegg’s Structured Practice Method is coming too!
This week I’m putting the finishing touches on the new assignment system. It’s mostly done as I write this, and will probably be completely up by the time this update posts on the blog. The next step from there is to implement the data-migration tools… so users of the old system can transition to the new one! As I always do with new code, I’ll make the move with my own data first, test it for a week or two, then move a few select users over for beta testing. Once I’m satisfied that the process is smooth and error free, I’ll open it up to everyone else. My plan is to do this in small groups, so please be patient if you don’t see an invite to upgrade right away.
In the meantime, I’ve also been working on branding and marketing. The new version is so good, I really want to see it helping as many people as possible. To that end, I’m expanding the SPM team!! Please extend a warm welcome to Katherine Perkins! She actually officially joined the team a couple of months ago, and has been working behind the scenes to help put together our branding and marketing strategy for our launch of the new SPM.
Those of you who have been with us since the beginning may remember that Katie is my step-daughter, and has worked with me off and on since the very early days. She came up with our original logo, among many other things. She has a business/marketing degree from Central Michigan University, works in marketing for her “day job,” and is also working on her MBA while helping out with SPM. I sometimes wonder if she ever sleeps.
As we prepare to launch version 2.0, she’s been working on the new website, blog, and marketing strategy, while I’ve been freed up to devote more of my time to coding.
I recently came across an article by Timothy McKenry, Professor of Music at Australian Catholic University, which gives some great tips to parents for motivating their children to practice.
The tips are primarily aimed at parents of young children, but I think much of the information could be applied to older "kids" as well. I also think those of us who teach music can always benefit from adding new tools to our motivational bag of tricks.
Mr. McKenry touches on one of my pet peeves in the article: Praising students for effort rather than talent. As he explains it:
Praising a child for being talented reinforces a fixed mindset around musical ability. If a child believes people are either talented or not talented, they are likely to view their own struggles with learning music as evidence they aren’t talented.
If you're not up to date on the latest research regarding fixed versus growth mindsets, I highly recommend spending a few minutes with Google and reading up. I think it's so important that educators understand and teach from this perspective.
Here is the link to McKenry's article. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful!
Happy practicing (and teaching)!