complimentsCompliments… I agree with this quote completely. My husband laughs but it’s so true, my favorite people are those who give sincere compliments and uplift me every time I’m around them. And I try so hard to do the same to those around me each day.

So I saw the idea floating around the teacher forums/groups on Facebook and wanted to adapt it a bit to my studio. I added a few prompts to the cards and I printed them onto white cardstock with little bits of color. Then we pulled out plenty of colored pens and everyone grabbed a pile of cards. First, I asked everyone to write their signatures on the bottom right corner of each card (or on the back if they had a particularly “fancy” signature to show off). Then we were ready to listen as everyone performed for each other at group class.

Compliment CardsThe result? Students were grinning ear to ear reading about their performance and I loved the confidence boost it gave them! The prompts are simple but did so much to help those younger students who sometimes get stumped about what to write. I pulled out these listening sheets to show them a few terms they could use (example: neat crescendos or great steady tempo choice with an exciting accelerando) as well as this adjective sheet to encourage them to use more words than “good” each time.

Plenty of research has been done on positive teaching environments and the power of praise in all types of education. I always love mixing in peer compliments because students hear so much from me but not enough from their friends. This activity was one of my students’ favorites this year!

Hope your students enjoy these! They would work in so many more music environments than just a piano studio – let me know how you use them.

Download: Compliment Cards

Author: Whitney

Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at