Piano Games

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I'm a college student and teach piano on the side. My major is not music, but I have had many years of piano experience. I have three students so far, they all are the children of our family friends. They were my sister's students but then my sister moved to get her master in music in Il. As I was growing up, I hated playing piano because of the unpleasant atmophere. I would like my students to enjoy playing piano and I would like to enjoy teaching it to them. I am in need of suggestions and advices to make their lessons funner. I have been searching for games or just things that will make their lessons more alive but all I found was word search puzzle. And I have given them many of those already. I'd like some new varieties of games or fun things to do during the lessons. So, if any of you don't mind, please help me. Any suggestions, advices, ideas on games, or anything at all is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.


-- Angela S. (schmoock99@hotmail.com), January 08, 2002


Angela, you are a perceptive teacher to recognize that young students need time away from the bench as well as other activities at the keyboard. I have many ideas that I could share with you. I use the Hal Leonard Student Piano Library series because there is a practice games book for the beginning levels. There are activities tied to songs the students learn - the games can be done during lessons as well as done as completed as an outside assignment.

If anyone is interested in receiving a free sampler packet please contact me at: halleonard@en.com

Patti Kolk

-- Patti Kolk (halleonard@en.com), January 08, 2002.

Angela--I have just come across two books that I think look quite exceptional for different games to play with students. One is Games for Music Reading, Book 1 (for the early beginner) by FJH Music Company and the other is called The Big Book of Music Games by Debra Olson Pressnall and Lorilee Malecha. I found the latter at a school supply store--it is geared toward the elementary student. I am looking forward to implementing both of these into my teaching. When teaching rythym, I like to have my students use rythym sticks as something a little different from clapping or tapping. When I give "flashcard tests" I tell my students for every five they get correct they will get one piece of candy--they LOVE this! Also, as they progress with flashcard recognition, you can set your metronome to whatever tempo and meter you choose and have students recognize the flashcard within that time frame--that will really get them going! Hope these few ideas will lend some help--I'd love to hear other ideas you may have as well!

Kris awesome.fossum@juno.com

-- Kris Fossum (awesome.fossum@juno.com), January 29, 2002.

Angela - With my younger students, we play "the jewel game" that I made up. I have some plastic, sort of flat beads of various colors - the "jewels". We put one on each of the white keys, spanning 3 or 4 octaves, depending on how much time we have to play. Then I say the name of a note and the student has to find one of that note and play it. If they are correct, they pick up the "jewel", but if they are wrong, I get it. Sometimes I'll ask for each note individually, sometimes I'll say "find ALL the G's", for example. Sometimes we do it by color. "Tell me the names of all the blue jewels". The goal, of course, is to keep ME from getting ANY jewels. I have other variations, using flashcards as well.

-- Leigh Jenkins (barefootgardener@comcast.net), February 17, 2002.

I too have been searching for music games that would address different aspects of music education. I found that what I was looking for was not available so I have developed my own. I now have a system of games that deal with note reading, intervals, music terms and symbols, rhythms, and several other areas. My students love the games and they have been helped tremendously by playing them. I use them as an incentive to have their lessons prepared well. IT WORKS! You can visit my website at www.whirligigllp.com or e mail me at sritchie4@aol.com to find out more.

-- Sally Ritchie (sritchie4@aol.com), October 24, 2004.

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