Learning any instrument may seem an overwhelming endeavor at first, but learning the piano can be the most intimidating. With its 88 keys, compared to the three valves of the trumpet, mastering it may seem farfetched. But we assure you, it is a rewarding experience worthy of your time and effort. Simply put, pianos lessons in Atlanta should be fun. That’s why we’ve put together our favorite teaching games that make learning the piano fun.
This simple game requires that the student sit on one end of the piano, and their piano teacher at the other. Both individuals keep next to them a shuffled stack of cards with letters of the musical alphabet (A-G) on one side. Both draw a card and find the nearest key which matches the note on the card they just drew.
The objective of the game is to see who can make it to the other end first, by continuously matching notes drawn from the deck of cards. Remember, it is just a game, so be sportsmanlike when you meet your teacher in the middle of the bench. No pushing!
This game teaches students to follow musical rhythm and properly count the notes within a measure. This game typically is done with two groups but can be done with one student as well.
To set up the game, two project boards are set up with a line of velcro across the middle. Two to three Velcro cut-outs of every note (whole, half, quarter, eight) are then set out in front of each group. The teacher claps out a rhythm, and one person from each team then has to replicate this rhythm on the project board using the cut-out notes. The first team that finishes three sequences of rhythms without error wins the game.
White Key Alphabet
For this game, you will need something to mark the white keys of the piano: pebbles, slips of paper, erasers, anything that can rest on each individual key and not fall in the space between. The teacher will pull from a deck of musical alphabet cards (you can use the same A-G deck from the “card race” game) and call out the note on the card. Students are tasked to find the corresponding note by placing a marker on the key.
The trick is, students cannot mark the note next to a key that has already been marked. So if they marked A, they have to move to a different B. This rule kindly forces students to learn the octaves of the piano. The game can also be timed so students have a milestone to beat.
Paper Plate Fun
This game follows in the same vein as “Rhythm Relay,” but requires students to work alone and includes rest values. To play this game, students are given paper plates with note and rest values drawn on in marker. As the teacher claps a rhythm, students must replicate the rhythm by lining up their plates on the floor. The game starts with a simple four beat rhythm and progresses to two measures at a time. The student that successfully replicates three sequences of rhythms is the winner.
This game requires creativity and adaptability on the part of the student, and therefore should be stressed as more of an exercise than a game, although it can and should be fun. We believe that students’ creativity should be carefully cultivated and encouraged, not forced out in the name of competition.
That said, with this exercise (or game), the teacher will draw from a stack of A-G cards, and the student must improvise a short tune using the note drawn as the “home note” or tonic. The student cannot hesitate once they start playing.
As students become more comfortable with this exercise, you may have students judge each other’s’ performance with tally marks to choose a winner. For higher levels of students, musical terms can be substituted in place of improvising notes, such as tremolo, trill, forte, etc.
These five games are best played under the guidance of a private teacher who can properly encourage and assess the student’s progress. Lessons In Your Home is ready to help your child, whether they’re beginner, experienced, and advanced– to hone their skills and have fun in the process. Contact us today to find a teacher near you.