A piano teacher recently asked - How do you find time for games? Do you save them for group classes? I can't imagine trying to fit it into a 30 minute private lesson!
For years I resisted playing games during piano lessons for the very same reason. I had an "all business" attitude and simply wanted to get right to work.
After all, parents hired me to teach their children to play the piano, so I had to be at the piano, right?
I was wrong. Games are a fabulous way to learn serious music concepts!
Here are 6 reasons you should try playing games during lessons:
1. Games take very little time.
We're talking 2-4 minutes - literally! I set my timer to keep us on track and sometimes we're able to play games twice.
2. Games can be a great break.
If you're working on tougher songs, students will love a 5 minute game. (And of course, it's a music game, so they're STILL learning!)
3. Games can be a good reward.
Encourage your students to work hard so they can play a game during the last 3 minutes of their lesson.
4. Games produce happy students.
Happy students practice more. The end.
5. Games aren't just for young students.
I have a couple teenage boys who LOVED playing Susan's Paradis's Bats and Cats. Not only was it a great way to review notes, but the Card of Doom produced SO many laughs!
6. Games are a fun way to learn!
If your student is struggling with a particular concept, get away from the piano and try a game. It can be a great way to learn.
7. Bonus reason - Games are a great way to find problems!
Recently during a game, I discovered that one of my students is confusing A and G on the keyboard. I had no idea - but now (thanks to a game) we can tackle the problem!
Judy Naillon said it best in Technology Boot Camp:
Are you looking for a Chritmas game that focuses on the reason for the season?
Check out The Shepherd's Adventure and the Wise Men Flashcards. Both are fun and can be played in less than 5 minutes!
And remember - you don't have to play games every week - keep them guessing!
Like Phillip Johnston says in The Dynamic Studio:
"If students are being delighted, challenged and surprised, then they'll find the lessons delightful, challenging and surprising. These are students with reasons to stay."
Do you play games during lessons? What are your favorites? I'd love to hear!
(Note: Some of links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.)
Hi there! I'm Tracy Selle. A Christian wife, mom, and author of 101 Piano Practice Tips. I'm also a piano teacher and founder of Upbeat Piano Teachers.