Teaching music using adventure and the imagination

I loved doing this and I won as well!!!

Music student

In Sophie’s last piano lesson we found ourselves in a clearing in the forest. Straight ahead was a rope ladder and next to it we could just about make out some kind of wooden chest hiding behind overgrown flowers. We carefully moved the flowers aside and tried to open the lid with great trepidation …

We weren’t really in a forest but were there virtually! Sophie was playing a musical mystery adventure called ‘The Lost Diamond’ and had just discovered a potential clue. But before we could go any further she had to learn one of the piano pieces in her book and then use it to work out the code which unlocks the chest.

Lots of my students love a good mystery and, just like Sophie, get fully engaged and involved in the story. I noticed this with one of the very first music theory games I made, ‘Who Stole My Doughnut‘ (free on my website!). It continues to be among the most popular free activities on the site and inspired me to take things further by creating a whole island to explore in ‘The Lost Diamond’ and a castle as the scene of the ‘crime’ in ‘Who Ate My Cake’!

Both mysteries include access to these online worlds and students search for clues in both the virtual games as well as in the printable book (with six original tunes to learn). The adventures can only be solved with a combination of music theory knowledge and scouring the sheet music to unlock clues.

The mystery of ‘The Lost Diamond’ and ‘Who Ate My Cake’ are available in two levels for piano (beginner and also early elementary), plus two treble instrument versions (a high one for instruments like flute or saxophone, and a low one for clarinet).

Find out more about these popular mysteries by visiting the website or sign up to access free games like ‘Who Stole My Doughnut’ here (teachers click here). Let me know if you have any questions!

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