I have a couple of pupils who are incredibly difficult to motivate to practice and was wondering if anybody could share some of their ideas that have worked.
With my younger pupils in schools (up to about 8 or 9) I have been doing an incentive competition this term which has been for the most part successful. Every week I draw five circles in the students notebook and every time they practice for 10 minutes they turn one in to a smiley face. If they come back the next week with five smiley faces they get a star and the person with the most stars at the end of the term gets a prize!
I'm particularly interested in ideas for the slightly older students (10 and 11). I have a couple at the moment who don't understand the need for practice in what ever way i attempt to dress it up for them. In particular I have one year 5 boy who comes in to the room every week announcing that he hasn't done any practice and then comes up with progressively ridiculous excuses every time. I asked him a couple of weeks ago when he practices and for how long to which he responded, "I usually practice while i'm waiting for the computer to boot up"! and then today his excuse for not practicing was that he couldn't get his piano stool out far enough from the piano to sit down because his scalectrix (sp?) was in the way!