Playing ‘Dynamic Detective’ with students who ignore dynamic signs

Can your student solve the mystery of the missing dynamics?

I love the first piano lesson with a brand new student! Everything is an exciting and fun adventure, with a whole new world hidden in the pages of the method book for them to explore.

Sometimes after a few lessons it becomes clear that they are going to struggle with dynamics. I’ve had very timid students who will only play softly (as though they are scared of breaking the piano!) as well as the opposite who are full of confidence and love to bash the keys.

Hands up if you recognise this!

If so, I have a fun activity which I call ‘Dynamic Detective’! This printable game is a great way to break those barriers and help all young pianists enjoy practising loud or soft sounds. The student plays as ‘Chief Detective’ and the teacher is their ‘Assistant’. To have a chance of cracking the case, students have to demonstrate they understand the musical signs so the audience (or teacher) can really hear those dynamics.

There are eight musicians who could have stolen the dynamics and students rule them out one by one to reveal the thief (watch out for the red herring!). The sheet music or ‘Case Notes’ is in the five finger position around Middle C (hands separately) and the signs used are ‘forte’ and ‘piano’, although the teacher could adapt it to add more signs if they wish.

Dynamic Detective is brand new and available from my Top Music store. Let me know if you have any questions.

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