Keeping young kids engaged in learning music can be a struggle, for teachers and parents alike. The solution? Make music a blast by incorporating games! Here are some great tips from Dallas, TX teacher Eric C., which can be used both in the classroom and during at-home practice…
As an educator, we would like for our students to enjoy our lesson plans, even if the lessons sound dull on paper. In fact, the ideal these days is to have students believe that learning can be fun. It’s best to create an environment in which the students feel welcomed and comfortable. These strategies can be applied for both private music lessons and larger music classes.
What do students like to do for fun? Well, if you observe kids during their downtime, you can see that most children like to play games. And there are tons of great ideas for music games for kids! One easy way for young musicians to get familiar with theory (such as the names of notes, rhythms, vocabulary, etc.) is using flash cards. Divide students into teams, and have one member from each team face each other and assess their knowledge. You could also incorporate a game like darts or basketball; if a team member answers correctly, that member will have an opportunity to throw or shoot to score a point.
Another idea for students is playing hangman, use musical vocabulary. This is a great one for private music lessons (teacher vs. student) or at-home practice (parent or sibling vs. student). For even younger kids (around pre-K to 1st grade), musical chairs is also a fun activity. You can easily teach kids about different music genres this way. For example, instruct your student(s) to march around – then play a march tune (John Phillip Sousa would come to mind) as you play the game normally.
Above are some great examples that teachers have used in their classrooms and lessons that students typically enjoy. However, there are many more ideas for music games for kids that are out there. Try to create your own and see what you can come up with. Just remember, students want to have fun and they want a fun teacher to learn from!
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Eric C. teaches singing, music theory, percussion, songwriting, speaking voice, acting, trombone and tuba lessons to students of all ages in Dallas, TX. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Tarleton State University, and joined the TakeLessons team in January 2013. Learn more about Eric, or search for a teacher near you!
Photo by francoiskarm