5 Easy Ways to Use Music Certificates in Private Lessons and K-12 Music Classes

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5 Easy Ways to Use Music Certificates in Private Lessons and K-12 Music Classes

I decided to start using music certificates to recognize achievements in my studio this year. Last year, one of my students finished his lesson book while we were in a period of distance learning due to inclement weather.

I had forgotten all about the certificate in the back of the lesson book when my student’s mom tells me, “He’s been waiting for weeks for you to sign it.”

If music certificates are a small thing that can make a student happy, why not? So, I searched for certificate templates as I wanted something with a nice aesthetic would be worthy of hanging up or even framing if the student desired.

I think many types of music teachers, including orchestra, choral, band, and general music teachers will enjoy utilizing these music certificates. In this post I’ll be sharing my ideas on how different music teachers might incorporate music certificates into their teaching practice.

If chic & glam isn’t your style, check out 63+ Charming Rustic Music Awards to Warm Up Your Piano Studio This Winter.


Ideas for Using Music Certificates


1. K-12 Music Ensembles (Choir, Band, Orchestra) and General Music Teachers

There are a couple of Band and Choir-specific templates: “Best in Band” and “Band’s Choice”. There is also one blank template with the design that can be used for any award you wish to give.

The teacher can decide the criteria for any awards at the beginning of the year, and determine whether the students will know up front, and if there is a way to make progress towards an award in each class. Certificates can be given semesterly or at the end of the year.

Ensemble Directors can also utilize music awards within the set such as:

  • Splendid Singer
  • Terrific Tone
  • Stellar Sight Reader
  • Rhythm Rockstar
  • Amazing Articulation
  • Perfect Attendance
  • Delightful Dynamics
  • Loveliest Legato
  • Excellent Ear Trainer
  • A+ Etudes
  • Memory Master
  • Polished Performance
  • Excellence in Music
  • Beautiful Bow Grip
  • Audition Ace
  • Recorder Rocker


5 Easy Ways to Use Music Certificates in Private Lessons and K-12 Music Classes


2. Music Certificates can Help with Planning Student Development

I can look at an award such as “Loveliest Legato” and think of who is least likely to earn that award based on their current stage of development. This specific question: “How can I get this student from their current stage to being in the running to win “Loveliest Legato?” somehow gives me even more ideas on improving the student’s legato.


3. To Be Used for Your Own Studio or Classroom Challenges

The list of music certificates can provide ideas for studio-wide challenges based on what is important for this year. Is this the year you want to turn all your students into fluent readers? Or is this the year you want to focus on ear training?

Alfred Music has a wonderful ear training curriculum I use that is written by Gayle Kowalchyk and E. L. Lancaster. There are six levels which correlate to the Alfred Basic Course and works with any series.

The teacher can determine the criteria that makes the most sense for their studio, be it most pages or books completed, or a culminating ear-training test which covers recognizing intervals and melodic and rhythmic dictation. Adding a wall progress chart can make the process even more exciting.

Need ideas for challenges? Check out How To Host A Piano Practice Challenge and Develop Strong Sight-Readers with “The Great Sight-Reading Challenge.”


4. Music Certificates for Wonderful Memories

I hope that students will be left with a warm memory of piano lessons, even if they cannot remember exact details, and remember it as a positive experience. If music award certificates can play a small part in a student’s excitement about piano lessons, then they have served their purpose.


5. Have a List of Music Certificates Available on Your Wall (or Bulletin Board)

Perhaps you’d like to give students an idea of what they should be aspiring to. You might strategically have a list of certificates posted. Awards might even list names of previous recipients.

If you are an ensemble director, you could have different sections of an ensemble all compete for an award. Students in large ensemble classes may enjoy having a structured goal to focus on, thus helping with classroom management in an indirect way.

Whether you’ve been meaning to form duets within your studio for the “Effervescent Ensemble” music award, or you’d like to have a studio-wide composition project for students to earn the “Creative Composer” award, there are so many options.


5 Easy Ways to Use Music Certificates in Private Lessons and K-12 Music Classes


I hope this article has given you some ideas on how you might incorporate music certificates into your teaching practice.

In addition to sharing ideas for using music certificates, I also wanted to share some tips that will make it even easier to provide the perfect certificates for your studio and links to the variety of music certificates that are available.


Helpful Hints for using the certificates

The blank template is useful because you may even decide to change the name of an award. For example, you like the idea of a scale award but you don’t like the name “Scale Diva”, then you can change it to “Most Scales Learned” or whatever name will suit your purpose.

The cursive font is available for purchase on Creative Market, but you are welcome to use any font you already have installed on your computer. Choose from one of the many pre-made music awards or use the blank template to create an endless variety of awards.

While the Glam & Chic ink-saver version of the certificates is my favorite, Melody also created sports-themed, winter-themed, as well as a colorful version that will appeal to young students. Click here and scroll down to see all the available award sets.

Grab your favorite set of Music Certificates today to make the end of year recital or concert even more special and memorable for your students and their families!


Read more on motivating your piano students…

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Michelle Madasamy

Michelle Madasamy

Michelle Madasamy is a pianist and teacher who is passionate about instilling a love for music in her students through learning, studying, and cultivating skills with care. Michelle holds a Master of Science in Music Education, a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, and is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music through the Music Teachers National Association. She earned state certification as a K-12 music educator and received her training at a district designated by the NAMM Foundation as one of the ‘100 Best Communities for Music Education’. She has over a decade of teaching experience and has taught a wide variety of students, from preschool group piano classes to undergraduate music courses. Michelle teaches school-aged children of all abilities in her piano studio.

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Hi! I’m Melody Payne, a pianist and piano teacher, educational resource author, a fun-loving wife to the most wonderful and talented hubby I could ask for, and a lifelong learner who loves to share. I want to make your life as a music teacher easier by writing and sharing helpful and relevant music teaching articles, and by creating educational resources with your very own students in mind. If you are a parent who wants to enroll your child in piano lessons, I’d love for us to get started building those skills that can give your child a lifetime of musical enjoyment!

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