Close to the holidays motivation is a bit tough. 5th graders are still going strong, becuase they can't belive they can now play Jingle Bells on their instruments. They look excited even when I tell them to take out their bows! Every direction I give them is exciting! 6th graders, however, are a little harder to motivate sometimes. They still get excited about certain songs, but it's not the same as when a 5th grader comes in telling me about all the songs they have performed for their parents. I just started using a new trick to try to get my 6th graders to go home with the same excitement.
Whenever my 6th graders look bored and I feel bored, I just have them close their books and I teach them a song by rote. This week we learned Star Wars, which was super fun. They get excited when they get to play "a real song". I already have some other ideas running around in my head. I was thinking about teaching them The Hockey Pokey and Pirates of the Carribean. Maybe I can even use these rote songs as leverage. They can be my new reward for good rehearsals.