Updated: Nov 4
By Christy | The Practicing Pro
Looking for a fun activity that will engage, motivate, and reward your child during their practice?
All you need are some red pom poms and a printout of my tree! This practicing activity is fun, effective, and only takes a few minutes to prepare.
Using the tree coloring page (that you can download and print off below), your practicing is instantly more organized and more fun! If you don't have red pom poms you can also print my apples and cut them out (but pom poms are more fun to count and pile up).
Creating Intrinsic Motivation
Our goal is to transform external motivation into intrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation is what will help your child to be productive and motivated as a teenager and later on, an adult. It is a true gift from a parent.
By using a pom-pom to represent each check on their practice sheet you are creating a visual to represent their hard work. At the completion of their practice, you can give them their large accumulated handful of pom-poms and say, “Wow, that’s a lot of “apples” (pom poms), look how much work you did. You must be really proud of yourself for doing so much work and working so hard today."
Notice how saying this encourages them to not seek your approval but instead to see how THEY feel about all of the work they did! This will help them to develop a sense of motivation that comes from inside of them rather than being motivated by what "others think of them" and what they will "get" in exchange for their work.
It is important to celebrate the practicing that has taken place in order to reach a goal. This teaches that a little bit over time makes something bigger. It teaches them to have the patience for the reward that will come after lots of work and waiting.
Choose the number of trees you will make and the number of apples it will take to fill them. I suggest getting a poster board and filling it up with an orchard (many trees) or taping the trees along the length of the wall etc...
Once the trees and apples are gone, then it's time to celebrate. Remember a celebration of YOUR time is always the best celebration.
Some Celebration Ideas:
Bake something made of apples, like apple crisp, apple pie, or dried apple chips.
Go for a trip to a cafe for an apple pie slice, Tims for an Apple donut, etc...
Buy and play one of my favorite games Apples-to-Apples (see link below).
If the weather and season permits- plan a trip to your local Apple Orchard to pick apples. If you live in the Halifax Area you could take a trip down to the Valley and go to Elderkin's U-Pick or the Willowbank U-Pick Farm.
How to Make the Pom pom Apple Tree
Each red pom-pom represents an apple as well as a check on their chart. After their practice with you, they can color the tree print out and then glue their pom-poms onto the tree.
Tree and Apple printable - Downloads
Here are the Trees and Apples for you to print and cut out.
Pre Colored Apples - FREE pdf download Tree - FREE pdf download To Color Apples - FREE pdf download Tree - FREE pdf download
How to Make the Apple Tree
Print on cardstock and color the tree from the free download or you can draw your own.
You will need to purchase red pom-poms if you do not already have some, from a craft store or you can order them on Amazon.
(See below for QUICK links on Amazon for all of the supplies you might need.)
Once your child has colored their tree and has glued on all of their pom pom apples you can say, “I was really impressed with your focus today on all of these apples. You must be really excited about having worked so hard and having this many apples on your tree!” As they focus on how good they feel after all of their work it will help them develop intrinsic motivation and focus on the work they did and enjoying working hard instead of just how smart they are or how proud you are of them.
There you have it! My simple and effective pom pom practicing activity. I hope that you enjoy it!
Please send me a photo of your musician with their finished apple trees, to share with other parents. I would love to see it!
INVITATION from Christy Hodder:
DIGITAL COURSE - Practicing Pro Academy
Speaking of amazing practices, let me tell you all about the digital course I built and teach called "Practicing Pro Academy". It is an at-your-own-pace, six-week online course for teachers and students that will bring you even more successful practices with your players! I am also with you in person the whole time with weekly Q&As to answer all of your questions. It only runs a few times a year so you don't want to miss the next time! I offer a free Masterclass to kick off each course. You can join the waitlist here.
Free PDF download
Checklist for an Amazing Music Practice
Your easy checklist to have successful home music practices from Christy, the practicing pro. Whether you are a new or seasoned practice parent this checklist will help you organize before, during, and after practices for effective and fun practices.
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