Whether you’ve been playing for years or are just starting out, practicing the piano can be a little tedious at times.
And let’s face it; kids can get easily distracted or disengaged when taking piano lessons. After all, repeating scales and chords over and over again can get tedious—not to mention boring.
Many parents feel stuck or unsure of how they can help their child succeed at playing the piano. Parents who don’t know how to read or play music, sometimes have a hard time helping their child practice at home.
Luckily, there are tons of ways in which you can help your child practice, while also making it fun! Whether your child takes piano lessons at home or online, there are a variety of educational piano practice games you and your child can play together.
Not only will these piano practice games help supplement your child’s piano lessons, but you and your child will be learning something fun and new together.
Note: This list of piano practice games requires parents to know some basic musical knowledge. These games are also great for piano teachers.
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Here are some free online piano practice games (and in-person games!) to help make practice more enjoyable for both you and your child.
Is a 30 Minute Piano Lesson Good?
Some people may argue that spending only half an hour practicing a week won’t give students enough time to master new skills, while others might say that this short but regular practice time can be sufficient for beginners and those with limited musical experience. Ultimately, how effective those 30 minutes will be depends on factors like:
- The student’s learning style
- The goals for taking piano lessons
- How often those 30 minute lessons are repeated
- Whether they receive 1:1 insurrection
- If you’re working with a piano teacher or teaching yourself
…and so on.
Whether you’re taking piano lessons for teaching yourself piano, playing a practice piano game is a great way to keep yourself (or your child) interested. Learn more about playing piano by checking out the video below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEid5JWMtJ8
Piano Practice Tips
For kids to improve and develop their piano skills, they must supplement their piano lessons by practicing at home. After all, practice makes perfect! Below are various piano practice tips you can follow to ensure that your child practices efficiently at home. Of course, you can use these in conjunction with games to play while practicing piano, too!
Listen to Classical Music Together
Listen to as much classical piano music with your child as possible! Try to identify composers, songs, and melodies as you do so.
Set aside some time each day for practice together, taking turns playing melodies. Even just 15 minutes can make a difference. Start with simple exercises or songs that can be easily learned.
Don’t forget to warm up with some easy scales before diving into harder pieces.
Take breaks as needed, and always end on a positive note. If frustration sets in, take a break and try again later.
Once the job is done, treat yourselves to a healthy snack or take the dog for a walk around the block. Everyone will feel proud of their accomplishments and eager to practice more next time.
Create a Comfy Practice Space
Create a comfortable and quiet piano practice space where your child can concentrate. Having your piano located in the living room where your child can easily get distracted isn’t a good idea.
Schedule Practice Sessions
Get your child into a routine in which he or she practices at a certain time every week. Whether it’s every Tuesday before dinner or every Friday before school, designating a specific time will ensure that your child stays on track.
The key to getting the most out of piano practice is to stay organized. Make sure that your child’s piano teacher provides him or her with a daily practice plan so that he or she knows exactly what to focus on at home.
Keep a Practice Journal
Help your child log each piano practice session in a journal. Be sure to include what he or she practiced as well as how long. Not only will this hold your child accountable, but it’s also a great way for him or her to track his or her progress.
Set Achievable Goals
Set some small, achievable goals at home. For example, 30 minutes of uninterrupted piano practice is rewarded with a treat. In doing so, your child feels motivated to practice and, more importantly, a sense of accomplishment.
Keep Things Interesting
To avoid having your child get bored, make sure you mix up his or her piano practice routine. For example, have your child practice exercises away from the piano. For example, listen to music together or play some games!
Piano Practice Games
So, how can you support your child during piano lessons? Below are 20+ fun and educational piano practice games that will help your child develop various piano skills, such as ear training, reading music, and more.
1. Musical Jenda
Design your own musical Jenga for fun piano notes practice games. Start by taking an old Jenga set and labeling the blocks with different notes, accidentals, and symbols. The more your child plays the game, the better he or she will become at recognizing important notes and symbols.
2. Sweat the Staff
Create a staff on a poster board and attached it to the wall or lay it flat on the group. Give your child a flyswatter and ask him or her to stand in front of the staff. When you call out a specific letter, the child will turn around and swat the line or space that a note with that pitch name would be on.
3. Spell a Keyboard
Start by designing your own keyboard. You can print one out online or make your own. Using the letters of the piano (A-G), make several flashcards with simple two or seven-lettered words; for example, “bag”. The child will choose a flashcard, then spell the word out on the keyboard.
4. Rhythm Eggs
Draw or label each egg shaker with a certain rhythm. The child will then have to shake the egg according to the designated rhythm. To add an extra challenge, have the child pick up two eggs and shake the different rhythms at the same time!
5. Lego Chords
Take some old Legos you have around the house, and write a note on each one. Then ask your child to find three blocks to make a “C Chord,” three blocks to make a “G Chord, etc. For a challenge, mix up the blocks with sharps and flats. Have your child play these combinations on the piano to see if he or she sounds correct.
6. Giant Keyboard
Make your own giant keyboard out of construction paper or draw keys on an old white sheet. Your child will have fun “playing” different tunes by jumping on the keys. Teaching kids piano concepts using physical play and allowing them to let out some steam helps them sit still later on during more concentrated lessons.
7. Basketball Rhythm
Set up a basketball hoop. Clap a rhythm. If the child can successfully “clap it back” he or she gets to shoot a basket. Now it’s his or her turn to clap a rhythm for you. If you successfully “clap it back” you get to shoot a basket. The first one to 10 wins!
8. Rhythmic Bingo
Make your own bingo cards with different notes and rhythms on each square. After you play, call out, or tap a certain rhythm, your child will check his or her board to see if it’s present. If it is, he or she will place a penny on the appropriate square. The first person with five pennies in a row wins!
9. Spot the Mistake
Start by showing students the proper piano hand positions, then ask them to close their eyes while you set up your hands with one obvious mistake; for example, a flat hand. Once you’re ready, ask students to open their eyes and spot the mistake.
10. Solfege Twister
Create your own Twister board using four different colors. Each color can represent an octave; for example, C3, C4, and C5. Then create 6-8 dots of color to represent a solfege symbol; for example, do, re, mi, and fa. When a note is played, your child will place his or her hand or foot on the appropriate squares. If multiple pitches are played like a chord, challenge the student to put a body part on each color/note.
11. Forbidden Key
Designate a “Forbidden Key” on the piano. As your child plays scales, he or she has to avoid the “Forbidden Key” and continue on during both the ascending scale and the descending scale. If he or she touches it, he or she must perform 10 finger push-ups.
12. Simon Says
Take on the role of “Simon” and issue instructions to your child. For example, when you play a short melody with three or four notes, your child must repeat what you played. You can go as slow or fast as you want depending on the skill level of your child.
13. Flash Cards
Start by making large cards with rhythms and pitches, and coat them in plastic. Then spread them out on the floor. When you play a rhythm or pitch on the piano, the student must run and tag the appropriate card. This is a great piano practice game for learning how to read music and training the ear.
To improve your child’s piano hand position, place a quarter on the top of each hand. Tell your child that he or she must play an entire song without the quarter falling off. If they succeed, they get to keep the quarter or choose a prize.
15. Roll the Dice
Cover a large square box with white construction paper to look like a life-sized dice. On each side of the dice, draw a note or a rhythm. Have your child roll the dice and play whatever note or rhythm is rolled on the piano.
16. DIY Piano
Gather up a bunch of old household items or cardboard boxes that you don’t need anymore. Using a picture of a keyword as a guide, help your child build his or her very own piano keyboard out of the scraps. Make sure that he or she isn’t forgetting the various parts of the piano.
17. Color Me In
Print out a picture of a piano keyboard in which your child can color. There are a ton of examples online that you can print out. Assign a different color to a specific part of the piano. For example, red for the C, green for the A, and blue for B. If your child is young, show them an example of a picture that you’ve already colored in for reference.
18. Deck of Cards
Pre-select cards numbered 4-9. Have your child pick a card and play a tricky passage the number of times specified on the card. For example, if the child chooses the number four card, he or she will play a particular song four times.
19. Pick a Card
Create 10-15 flashcards with different notes and rhythms and place them in a hat. Ask your child to close his or her eyes and choose a card from the hat. Whatever card he or she chooses, he or she will have to play on the piano. You can even add in bonus cards to the mix with prizes!
20. Musical Hopscotch
Take some chalk and draw a hopscotch board on the driveway. In each square, draw a different note. Then create “musical dice” in which you draw a note on each side of the dice. After you roll the dice, your child will hopscotch to whatever note was rolled.
21. Who Am I?
Every month, assign your child a famous piano player or composer. After researching the individual, the child will stand in front of the family while others family members ask him or her questions about the individual. The child must answer the questions as if he or she were the famous piano player or composer.
22. The Descender
This game involves dice. Roll the dice, then play the first bar of the piece this many times. Play the next bar of the piece that many times minus one – and so on.
23. The Countdown
This is a dice piano practice game that will give you a movement break as well. To play, roll the dice, then play the piano piece. Count down loud from the number as you play each bar. When you’re done counting down, stand up and walk around the piano bench, then jump into the air. Sit back down and start another countdown!
24. Jigsaw Puzzle
You can use any jigsaw puzzle in these fun piano keyboard practice games. The more pieces the better!
All you need to do is lay out the section you want to work on. Put the pieces of the puzzle near the piano, on a table. Find a pair of puzzle pieces that join together. Add just one piece to the puzzle each time you successfully play the session. Try to get the puzzle done by the end of the week!
25. Recital Ready
This piano practice game is specific to prepping for a performance – you can buy it or you can make your own with the best performance prep ideas.
Is There a Video Game That Teaches Piano?
There is no shortage of video games that claim to teach users about various subjects, from math and science to foreign languages and musical instruments. As such, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of games available that are awesome piano practice games online.
From simple rhythm-based challenges that focus on recognizing different keys on the keyboard, to more complex titles that incorporate note reading and sheet music recognition, there are plenty of options for those who want to learn how to play this classic instrument.
Of course, there is no substitute for formal piano lessons, and these games should be viewed as just one way to supplement your learning rather than a complete replacement for an experienced teacher.
But given their ability to engage users in a fun and interactive way, it’s clear that video games can be an effective tool for learning the basics of playing the piano.
Some of the best video games online to teach piano can be found here. Examples include:
Whether you’re looking for something quick and easy or something more challenging, there’s sure to be a suitable video game out there that will help take your skills from basic to advanced.
How Can I Make My Piano Practice Fun?
If you want to help your child practice the piano, try some of these games. They are fun and will keep your child engaged while they learn. And who knows? You may even end up enjoying them yourself!
So if you’re ready to dive into this exciting world of digital music-making, look no further than the wide world of video game piano lessons!
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About the Author:
This post was contributed by TakeLessons teacher Liz T. Liz teaches piano, singing, and acting lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M. in vocal performance and has a graduate certificate in arts administration from New York University. Learn more about Liz here