We place the shark on the keys about an octave or so away from the top key. We say that the top is ‘the sea.’
Each time they play something accurately the shark moves one key up closer to ‘the sea’, and the student is a bit safer. But if they make a mistake, the shark moves down one key closer to their hands….DUN-DUN-DUUUN!
It is amazing how determined students will be to keep that shark away from them! It always produces good results and a laugh instead of them feeling frustrated.
It’s an altogether more light-hearted way to raise expectations.