Music lessons can be a great way for children to explore their creative side and develop important skills like rhythm, pitch, and listening. Using games is a great way to add an element of fun and maintain interest during music lessons, whilst also learning valuable musical skills.
Here are some of my favourite ones:
Don't Play This One Back
This one is a musical version of the famous Simon Says word game. Using a piano key, chord, guitar string etc, play a series of simple rhythms that the child has to copy straight back to you. However, if they hear a rhythm that sounds like "don't - play - this - one - back!" they must not repeat that one. If they do, they are "out"!
The Secret Note
This game is like a musical Twenty Questions. The child picks a note from their music and keeps it a secret. You then ask several yes or no questions in order to work out their secret note by referencing the sheet music you are using. You could ask things like - is it a staccato? Is it a minim?
Pass The Beat Around The Room
This one encourages a steady pulse. It works best with a large group but can easily be played with yourself and a single pupil. You have to speak the sentence "pass - the - beat - a - round - the - room - " one word at a time between each other to a consistent tempo and the first person to miss their word or accidentally say the wrong word is "out"!
What Did I Do Wrong?
Choose a bar or line of the music you are working on. Then play it with a mistake somewhere, like not observing the key signature or swapping note order or playing a different rhythm. Now ask your pupil to identify the mistake you made. When they’ve worked it out, they could then play you the music how it really should sound.
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