Here are photos of the awards I give to music students at the end of the school year.
Each year I choose two students to be recognized for the Outstanding Musicians award. Students get their name on the perpetual plaque which is displayed at school and they also get to keep a trophy. I try to use objective criteria to select students for this award, such as membership and/or seating placement in our district’s Honor Orchestra.
The Chromatic Climbers plaque is a new award this year, taken from a similar idea from a colleague. The award is for band students who can play a one-octave chromatic scale, ascending and descending, not necessarily memorized. As I have written elsewhere, this was a great motivational tool for students who probably would not have learned their chromatic scale otherwise. Soon after I explained the award and its rules to my students, my most talented players met the criteria almost immediately. Then the whole thing snowballed from there. As each additional student qualified, the others didn’t want to be left out so they obviously spent some time practicing at home.