Motivation Station: Do Incentives Work?

If you’ve got 10 minutes, check out this quick animation from the good folks at RSAnimate about some interesting studies of motivation presented by Daniel Pink (taken from his book on motivation, Drive).

Even though the topic of this talk on motivation takes a business-oriented bent, I found myself using the ideas to assess my own relationship with practice and with music and with my other chief love, writing. Interesting that for mastery motivation he cites music, echoing my last post about Carol Dweck’s work.

Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice.

Motivation might not be what you think….

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Ryan Record says:

    This is fascinating! I’m just wondering now how I can apply this to teaching. It does make sense though. I do my best and most creative work for free. Great stuff!

  2. Ryan Record says:

    Just thinking out loud: As a music teacher, I think music is a fairly complicated process. I think I will try making the process more creative, even on the mundane songs that the kids don’t like to play. Maybe this will add purpose into what they are doing.

    1. I appreciate the thoughts. I’ve heard both Rex Martin (fantastic classical tuba player) and Victor Wooten (bass virtuoso) talk about practicing scales. Both said they’ve never been bored doing it because they attempt to make it creative. That creativity part is so essential. It’s tough to do in a large ensemble setting, but is definitely possible. Means you have to get creative, too. So it’s win-win. 🙂

  3. Ryan Record says:

    So I started incorporating some creativity in my lessons. I am going to try the scale thing. I think it will really make the scales a lot more fun for my younger students especially. Its so easy to create little melodies using scale patterns, so if I can get my students to create some melody lines within a given scale then they will learn the scale without even knowing it.
    Some of my students are learning chords, so one of the things I did today, was I tried having the student come up with her own melody that goes with the chord. I didn’t feel like it was very successful but I will keep trying stuff until I figure out what works best for the students.

  4. Ryan Record says:

    Continuing to involve my students in some creative projects. So far so good!! It has been a powerful transition from the mundane songbook practice schedule. I am encouraging a lot of my older students to freely compose within certain chord or melodic guidelines. It has been a great incentive so far. Can’t wait to see long term results.

    1. fantastic! I hope you and your students are enjoying the transition. Kudos to you and to them for jumping in….

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