As a music teacher are you a Mrs Vivace or a Mrs Andante?

Play is not a break from learning. It is endless, delightful, deep, engaging, practical learning. It’s the doorway into the child’s heart!

Vince Gowmon

Imagine there are two rooms! In the first one Mrs Andante is teaching little Sophie the piano. They have just played some scales with the teacher testing each one in turn and now it’s time for some music theory. Mrs Andante opens the theory book and talks for a several minutes while Sophie listens. Then she fills in some of the numbered exercises.

Let’s go next door. Mrs Vivace has also planned to do some music theory with piano student Ben, but this time there is no book. Just a tablet or computer! She loads a game and Ben’s eyes light up. It’s time to play Pharaoh Fred.

Mrs Vivace drags the notes into position on the stave, focusing on those that Ben has learnt, and asks him to work out which are steps and skips. Ben has a go at moving the notes into the correct places himself and there is even a scribble pad so he can draw the notes on the stave and reinforce his understanding. The teacher marks his efforts and it gets added to the total game score.

Then it’s time for Ben to sail down the Egyptian river in his barrel searching for the treasure that Pharaoh Fred stole from him! He needs to watch out for the waves though or it could be game over!

Which room would you like to be learning in?

Used in the right way, games can be a powerful teaching tool and help consolidate what a student is learning. They are great for not only improving existing knowledge but understanding new concepts of music theory too. Learning becomes practical, hands on and more engaging.

Games like Pharaoh Fred can be found in my ‘Studio’ packs and are ideal to put some fun and excitement into music lessons. Each pack includes a collection of teacher led games (some customisable) playable on tablets, computers or smartphones, and teachers can add extra fun with the downloadable leaderboard templates for additional motivation!

  • Flashcard Fun is a games based approach to the traditional flashcard. Highly customisable, the teacher can drag notes up or down the treble and bass staves into any position and use for note name drilling, playing on the instrument, interval reading – or anything else they wish. There is even a scribble pad useful for musical signs and more.
  • Fun Reader is also versatile and is aimed at helping beginners become better note readers. Sometimes students who are sight-reading can be overwhelmed with juggling the notes, rhythm and expression, so these games help reduce that complexity. The pack includes two question types: five draggable notes that can be played on the instrument in free time, or simple rhythm questions where teachers can drag time signatures and note values onto the stave.
  • Beginner Piano is ideal for the first year of learning and complements any tutor book (as well as my Monster Mash piano mystery for students to practice at home). It includes finger numbers, piano keys, simple time values and time signatures, music signs and music notation on the stave.
  • Multiplayer is a collection of games for two players (and some are perfect for team play). Beginner theory topics include time signatures, note and rest values, music signs, treble and bass notation, and musical maths.

All these packs are available separately but if you join as an awesome ‘Studio Teacher’ you get access to all of them at a big discount! Most of the packs are designed to be versatile (working well in both in person lessons and online) and I’ve even used some of them for things like scale learning too.

My students love it when we play ‘Treasure in the Desert’, for example, and rather than using the inbuilt question I ask for a scale instead. The desire to be at the top of my leaderboard for games like this has done wonders for improving scale learning!

Hope you enjoy playing games like ‘Don’t Wake Lenny’ and ‘Apple Rocket’ with your students and let me know if you have any questions.

Studio Teacher Packs

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