3 Good Ways to Motivate Students to Correct Their Technique

Here’s the next post for the new year on the theme of getting our students to correct incorrect technique, an important aspect of your job as a string teacher, and an essential part of my teacher training.

In the last post, we talked about the 3 Worst Ways to Get Your Students to Fix Their Bad Habits. In this post, let’s talk about some great solutions!

#1 – Set aside dedicated time.

As we learned in the last post, throwing out random reminders to fix technique problems while students are playing doesn’t work.


Because the human brain can really only concentrate on one thing at a time effectively.

If you try to get students to fix something while they are already concentrating on something else, Autopilot is guaranteed to kick in. So doing this will never result in a long-term solution.

Instead, make sure you set aside dedicated time where the only focus is on establishing good technique. Then be sure to zone in on only one specific skill during that time. Stay on the same skill for several classes until there is an improvement.

If you move too quickly, not only will your students not succeed, you will be giving them a false expectation of how much time it takes to establish a new habit. They need to understand that it will take concentrated effort over many days and you want to model this in your approach.

Also remember to model the rest of the 5 Secrets to Replacing Bad Habits With Good Ones as well.

#2 – Have students correct each other.

String students are naturally arranged in partners, and I love taking advantage of that early and often. It helps develop a sense of community and helps build a safe environment for everyone to learn in.

Having students correct each other is a great way for them to take on the role of the teacher instead of the student. This lets them see the problem from a different perspective and layers on a sense of responsibility they didn’t have before. It also motivates them to want to do things correctly.

Also, having the chance to help someone gives students a sense of accomplishment and helps them build self-esteem. And having someone else scrutinizing them helps them focus more attention on doing things right.

Of course there is also the added bonus of you getting a break from being the teacher all the time, which is always nice.

#3 – Have them decide on their own goals.

It’s one thing for us to be telling students what to do, which is what we tend to do a lot of the time. It is another thing to give students a choice as to what their own next steps should be.

The benefit of this is that it gives each student a chance to pick something that is important to them, instead of what we think is important. When we step back, they’ll tend to choose something they are ready to change, or something they want most to change because it’s been bothering them.

This, of course, gives them ownership of their own progress, and will naturally make it more likely that they will put in the effort to succeed.

Again, you’ll want to make sure they are aware of the 5 Secrets to Replacing Bad Habits With Good Ones to increase the chances of success.

Hope these 3 tips are helpful. If you have any suggestions for motivating your students to correct their technique problems, feel free to share them in the comments below.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for one more post on this topic!

Let me know if this post helps you – hearing from you keeps me doing what I’m doing. Also, let me know if you want me to share more tips like this!

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