During competitions, it is of great importance to produce an uplifting experience for your students. Project a strong positive environment that will build students' attitudes into beliefs that contests produce learning experiences for both those who win and those who don't. All playing fields are filled with the opportunity of building young lives into strong and socially engaging adults.
Why music competition increases learning and engages students
Music competitions are great motivators and an essential driver of student learning, innovation and performance. Music contests can provide the following benefits for students:
Strengthens academic learning
Teaches teamwork and collaboration - students learn to deal with peer conflict and other students opinions
Capture student interest and provide a platform for recognition
Increases motivation and exploration
Focuses on the enjoyment of music and playing
Learning how to cope with stress and methods for reducing anxiety
e.g. breathing exercises
Building courage for performing to an audience
Enhances emotional and social interactions
Explores relationships and cooperation with other students
Assists in achieving ambitions
Creates self-challenging skills
Preventing student anxiety
For some students, participating in contests and competitions can be filled with anxiety, dread, fear, depression, and apprehension of failure. For those who don't win, even if they did an excellent job, they can feel that others are better than they are. This can lead the student to belief that they just aren't good enough. Students need to be encouraged and taught that losing a competition can definitely build a student's character, self-image, sportsmanlike conduct and determination. Following are some tips.
Make it fun! Teach students to perform for the love of music and to focus on music for music's sake instead of who is the best musician. Put performance first and winning second. Instil in your students the benefits listed above on this page. Initiate the idea that working on the competition will build toward the future and improve skills. Keith Stead, explains it in terms of adopting the perspective of the Olympics where taking part is held in high esteem by every spectator and even the judges. We admire 'all' Olympic players. When athletes participate we feel that all of them are winners!
Presenting contests as positive experiences and teaching with competitions
It should always be a priority to make sure that students are learning, growing and reacting appropriately to the contest. We all know there can only be one winner, therefore, it's important to us the losing experience as a training ground. Without proper consideration and encouragement for those that lose, negative attitudes about contests can develop and produce unpleasant memories. How much better it would be for students to remember the experience as fun! Use the time to uplift and bring both enjoyment and good memories for students' futures.
The attitudes of winners must also be shaped. Teachers need to enhance learning with the ability to be empathetic with their fellow students that did not win. One of the ugliest pictures is a winner gloating, bragging, bullying, and taunting rivals. All playing fields are filled with the opportunity of building young lives into strong and socially engaging adults.
What competitions are your students working toward this year?
References used in this blog post
competitionsciences.org/2016/07/04/10-ways-competitions-enhance-learning/ keithstead.com/and_more/articles/music_competitions.html mindchamps.org/blog/why-competition-good-for-students/ topuniversities.com/blog/six-reasons-participate-student-competitions