Using play as serious learning in the music lesson

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood

Fred Rogers

I drove past my piano teachers house recently and memories of having lessons as a child came flooding back.

All those years ago there was no technology (I feel like a dinosaur!) and no games. The closest we came was filling out those John Thompson theory puzzles (which I loved) and in those days I think they were based on gnome characters rather than monsters. My favourites were the musical stories where the notes had to be named to make words.

Even in the time I have been teaching myself, methods and teaching tools have moved on massively. When I first started there was a much more limited choice of materials, and a single web page took quite some time to load so digital music games were definitely out of the question (or didn’t exist!).

These days there is so much choice and many ways to integrate play and serious learning. I love this quote by Fred Rogers because children learn so much by exploring and using their imagination. In lessons play can spark creativity, increase engagement, and feels fun or enjoyable for the student. Learning becomes an adventure!

As adults there is sometimes a perception that learning has to be formal or serious to be effective. But is that actually how children learn? The basis of what we are teaching might have a serious purpose but how we present it doesn’t have to be. Play and learning really don’t have to be separate things.

How do you bring play into your music lessons?

Find out more about @learnatune music games and fill lessons full of fun and engagement!

One comment

  1. I find that recycling simple, timeless games like Tic Tac Toe or Paper Scissors Rock can be really rewarding in any classroom. It’s all about expanding ideas from an existing one.

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