Piano teaching games have become very popular. I use games in my studio because my students love them and the right games, at the right moment, can really motivate students while reinforcing important skills and concepts. Games can also function as a way to assess what my students actually know. Used correctly, piano teaching games can help make your studio a success.
I use lots of games with preschool students. I think it’s important for them to have many hands-on “off-the-bench” activities. With older students, I also like to use games in addition to the music they are working on. I don’t play games at every lesson. I reserve the use of games for three occasions:
When To Use Games
- It’s a good idea to pick up a game when I feel like my student has been working hard and really needs a mental break. If a student has played through a passage of music three or four times and is showing signs of frustration, I will choose a game that will take about 5 minutes. Something that will reinforce important musical concepts. This is usually just enough to help them get back at the music with enthusiasm.
- If I believe a student needs help with a particular skill we will play a game. If a student is having trouble identifying rhythmic values we will play a rhythm game. If it is naming notes is a challenge we can play a game that focuses on note naming. Read the post, “Convincing Students to Count Rhythm”
- Piano teaching games are great when there are a few minutes left in the lesson and there isn’t time to begin a new piece. A quick game at the end of a lesson can be just the thing to make the best use of every minute you have with your student.
Games are Great!
Select games that reinforce what you are teaching and use them sparingly. I recommend no more than 5-7 minutes of a 30-minute lesson should be spent on piano teaching games. The key is to be sure that the students are really working to get their own answers. I always keep the music they are learning nearby so that we can look at the music as a reference and make the connection between the game we are playing and the music that is being studied.
My students love games. I keep a large repertoire of printed and hands-on piano teaching games that I can play with my students. I find that games make piano lessons fun and help students stay motivated. I want my students to love coming to their piano lesson each week. Piano teaching games can make learning to play the piano more enjoyable. A student who enjoys the piano will want to continue lessons and learn to play well.
Read the Post, “Love Will Keep Us Together”
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