Creating Healthy Competition - Tonara’s Leaderboard

No matter who you are, how old you or your students are, we all know that a little competition never hurt anyone. In fact, it can create a healthy environment that will help establish growth, empowerment, confidence, and enjoyment! As a teacher and musician, you know this first hand - so why not let your music students enjoy it as well. 

Tonara Studio’s leaderboard is a great way to motivate your students to practice more while still encouraging healthy competition. It also helps to set goals with your students, creates a fun practice experience, can help spark creative ideas, and more!


Whether your teaching younger or older music students, using rewards is a great incentive to motivate your students to practice more, and the leaderboard is the perfect tool to help you get this started or enhance the tools you’re already using. Some great ideas for rewards that you can use include, but are not limited to, giving away candy, stickers for their notebooks, and throwing an ice cream or pizza party. 

A fun idea to utilize the leaderboard is at the beginning of the month, start a competition to see which five students can reach the top spots by the end of the month. Once you have your winners, you can find a fitting reward for all of them, whether it’s throwing them a party or sharing some candy or stickers with them. 

Remember to use the leaderboard and rewards as an encouragement tool to get them to practice more rather than focusing on the reward they will receive. The more your students will practice their assignments or the 'practice any piece' assignment, the more points they will earn, the higher they will climb in the leaderboard, and the better they’re playing will get! It is also important to keep an eye out for students who are playing only to earn points rather than improving their playing and remind them that Tonara and the leaderboard are here to help improve their playing rather than distract them.


Using the Studio leaderboard as an incentive to get those creative juices flowing for your students and is another great tool to create a bit of friendly competition within your studio. Three different ideas that you can incorporate include encouraging your students to create their own assignments and compilations, creating groups and custom leaderboards, and for you to get involved with practice sessions. 

Student Assignments and Compilations

Allow your students the opportunity to create their own motif, melody, or tune, and your other students have to either playback the same section or they can play the other part to that assignment. By doing this, you’re encouraging your students to work together, inspiring them to think in different ways, continue their practice in a more fun manner, and of course improve their skills, whether it’s improv or not!

Groups and Custom Leaderboards

Creating groups and custom leaderboards can help keep your student engaged and motivated in a different light. Although you have the studio leaderboard where all of your students can earn a spot, creating groups and custom leaderboards bring new competition to the table. For example, you can group all the beginner students together, the older students together, or the very creative students together. Once you’ve sent them assignments, watch them all encourage one another and compete against each other to reach a higher spot on the custom leaderboard. With this tactic, you’re creating an equal playing environment for your students to succeed. 

Get In On the Fun

Another great way to add a little competition for your students is by you getting involved with the practice sessions. Create a fake student account for yourself, it can either be your real name or a fake name - you can also choose to let your students know if it’s you or not. Send yourself a few assignments, and work on your own practice sessions so you can earn a spot on the leaderboard.

From here, your students will start to see there's a new member on the leaderboard and will be encouraged to practice more and beat them! But remember you don’t want to practice too much and discourage your students but rather help motivate them to beat you and earn more points. Let them reach the top few spots on the leaderboard, but also try to keep a tight competition!


Goal setting is an important skill to develop at a young age and carry it through as students get older. As the teacher, you want to be part of that journey. 

Teach your students the importance of setting up goals and working on them. This applies to short term and long term goals. What you can do to help move this along, is create 2 different types of assignments for your student.

The first being an assignment that will require being completed within 1 or 2 weeks - something on the shorter side and more simple. The second one is an assignment that takes more time, maybe that will last for 1 month. Once the end of both assignments is reached, you can evaluate the progress your student has made and go over it with them so they can see the results as well.

Show them the benefit of setting goals that are both short term and long. Remind them of the pros and cons of both, but the end result is to come out as a better musician, having built confidence in themselves and their playing, and learning to evaluate themselves for further improvement. 


Whenever a student get’s discouraged, needs a little booster to keep going, or a reminder of what they’ve accomplished, they can always check the leaderboard to see the number of points they’ve earned for their hard work. The more they practice their assignments the more points they earn and the more they will want to continue that feeling of accomplishment. And remember, some friendly competition is healthy and encouraged!

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