Learning how to train your ear for music isn’t always easy. For children, it can be especially difficult because it’s also not the easiest exercise to describe.
Fortunately, like with a number of lessons, there are games that can help students train their ear. These games are often played during piano lessons in Atlanta to help beginners and young pianists get an ear for the instrument and music in general.
Here are a few options you, or the piano teacher, can use to help your child train their ear outside of their lessons so they can get some extra practice.
Find Online Resources
There are a number of websites that have ear training exercises and games. These exercises are often very helpful because they provide explanations and information that you may not know, especially if you don’t play an instrument.
You can do a search for ear trainers or ear training games. One of the most useful websites is www.musictheory.net, which also provides additional tutorials and resources.
Swat the Rhythm
In this game, you first write down different rhythm examples on note cards or index cards. Lay these cards out on the ground and have your child sit in a circle around them. Your child should have a fly swatter and should be able to reach every card with it.
The game starts with you clapping a rhythm. When you’re finished, your child will swat at the card with that rhythm on it. If he or she swats the right card, they get a point.
You can spice up the game by decorating the fly swatters, making the note cards into cute bugs, and creating fun score cards to use to keep track of their points. This game can also be adapted for other tasks, too. You can replace the rhythms on the cards with notes, piano keys, intervals, melodies, or musical terms.
Create Listening Sheets
Listening sheets ask students to mark the types of sounds and playing styles they hear, whether it’s from a live piece or a recording. For beginners, they may be something as simple as marking if the piece is soft or loud, slow or fast. For more advanced musicians, you may ask them to identify the time or key. You can customize these listening sheets however you want.
Match the Note
This fun game teaches children the rhythm of each note (quarter, half, dotted half, and whole notes, although you can add or remove notes as needed). To prepare, create posters with the chosen notes on them.
For beginners, you might only have a few posters to start with, but you can add additional notes as they learn. Place these posters in different parts of the room.
Next, clap a note and ask the child to go stand near the poster that represents the matches. Once he or she has picked a note, tell them the answer, and then start a new note.
Hold Up Signs that Match
If you don’t have the space to have your child running to different posters on the wall, you can create signs using note cards and craft sticks for them to hold up. These signs could have different notes, keys, or anything else you’re teaching.
The child holds up the sign they believe matches what you just played or the question you asked. It’s a simple game, but it can be more effective than simply asking them questions, which is often difficult for younger students.
By giving them signs, you give them a set number of options for each answer rather than asking them to come up with the answer on their own.
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All of these games can help students reinforce the information they receive in their piano lessons. If you’re looking for a great piano teacher, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about Lessons in Your Home.