Is your child having trouble mastering a particular violin technique? Or do you have trouble getting him or her to practice the violin?

It’s common for budding musicians to get distracted or discouraged while learning to play the violin. After all, it’s not the easiest instrument to learn how to play .

To help keep kids motivated, try mixing up their practice routine with some fun, educational violin games. Below, you’ll find 20+ violin games parents and/or teachers can play with their little ones.

While some of these violin games require accessories and prep, most are very easy to organize and cost effective. What’s more, the following violin games are organized by skill category for easy scanning.

Note: This list of violin games can be applied to any musical instrument, such as piano, guitar, and drums.

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Violin Games By Category and Skill

  • Bow Hold

  • Practicing Notes

  • Different Parts of the Violin

  • Reading Music

  • Ear Training

  • Violin Posture

Reading Music

Knowing how to read music is a very necessary and valuable skill, especially when it comes to classical music. Below are various violin games to help your child or student learn how to read music.

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, the student must run and stand on the appropriate card. This is a great exercise for learning how to read music and training the ear.

Bingo



Make your own bingo cards with different notes and rhythms on each square and pass them out to students. After you play a note or rhythm, students will check their board to see if it’s present. If it is, they will place a penny on the appropriate square. The first person with five pennies in a row wins!

What Note Am I?



This violin game is very similar to the game “Who Am I?” but instead of guessing what famous person they are, students will guess what note they are. Start by making large cards with notes. Hand out a card to each student and have them place it on their forehead without peeking. Then have the students ask each other questions to find out what note is on their card; for example, “Do I have a stem?”

Ear Training

Ear training is an important part of a child’s musical studies, as it allows them to accurately identify certain musical elements. Below are various violin games to help your child with ear training.

Simon Says



Take on the role of “Simon” and issue instructions to the student(s). For example, when you play A on the violin, the kids have to sit down, or when you play E, the kids have to stand up. You can go as slow or fast as you want depending on the skill level of the group.

Name that Tune


violin games

Choose a popular violin song that your student or child knows well. Play the song with some notes in-tune and some out-of-tune. Every time the child recognizes a note that’s out-of-tune, he or she must raise his or her hand.

Finish the Song



Choose a song in which your students are familiar and have them stand in a circle. One student starts playing a note or phrase of the song, then passes the bow to the next person in the circle who has to pick up where the other one left off.

Bow Hold

Mastering the proper bow hold is often difficult for beginner students, as it can feel very unnatural. Below are some violin games students can play to improve their bow hold.

Bunny Ears



This violin game is great for young students who are just starting to learn the proper way to hold a bow. Start by making the shape of the letter C, with your fingers and thumb curved. Then, touch your thumb to your middle finger and ring finger to create the chin and nose of the bunny. Next, raise your pointer finger and pinky (keep them curved) to create the bunny ears.

Pass the Cup



Start by having one student place a small, clear plastic cup over the tip of his or her violin bow. The student will then pass the cup to the next person in line. The student can only pass the cup if the receiving student’s bow is pointed up toward the ceiling and has a proper bow hold.

Spot the Mistake



Start by showing students the proper bow hold, then ask them to close their eyes while you set up your bow hold with one obvious mistake; for example, a straight thumb. Once you’re ready, ask students to open their eyes and spot the mistake.

Violin Posture

Proper violin posture is essential, as it not only improves tone production and control, but it also prevents injury and discomfort. Below are a few violin games to help your child perfect his or her posture.

The Alphabet Game



Gently help the student get into the correct position. Then ask him or her to freeze in this position until you sing the entire alphabet song forward and backward. The student will enjoy hearing you fumble while trying to sing the alphabet backwards.

Tree Trunk


violin games

To practice proper placement of feet, have the child pretend he or she is a tree in the middle of a windy storm. If the student’s feet are placed too narrow, then the wind will be able to push him or her over sideways. If his or her feet are placed too wide apart, then the wind can pull him or her forward or backwards.

Yoga


violin games

Practicing yoga is a great way to improve your child’s or student’s violin posture. Moves like child’s pose and mountain pose are great for stretching and counteracting bad posture. Try starting each practice session with a few of these moves to loosen up.

Practicing Notes

Getting students to practice violin notes can be like pulling teeth. Nonetheless, it’s important to their overall development. Use the fun violin games below to make practicing more enjoyable.

Hide the Rosin



Choose one student to leave the room, while another hides a piece of rosin somewhere in the room. When the student comes back to search for the rosin, students will play ff when the student is close to the rosin and pp when the student is far away. This can also work with private violin lessons.

Musical Chairs


violin games

Place several chairs in a circle and have students start walking around them. Start playing a song in which students are familiar. Whoever doesn’t find a chair when the music stops must join the “orchestra” (i.e. you) in playing the song. As the game continues, more students will join the orchestra until there’s only one student left—the winner.

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 students stand in one big circle and give each one a chance to roll the dice. Students will have to play whatever note or rhythm is rolled.

Different Parts of the Violin

Before students can master playing the violin, it’s important that they understand the different parts and basic functions of the violin. Below are a few games students can play to learn the various parts.

DYI Violin



Gather up a bunch of old household items or cardboard boxes that you don’t need anymore. Using a picture of a violin as a guide, help your child build his or her very own violin out of the scraps. Make sure that he or she isn’t forgetting the various parts of the violin, such as the bridge, pegbox, and tailpiece.

Color Me In


violin games

Print out a picture of a violin in which your child or students can color. There are a ton of examples online that you can print out. Assign a different color to a specific part of the violin. For example, red for the f-holes, green for the chin rest, and blue for the bridge. If your child or students are young, show them an example of a picture that you’ve already colored in for reference.

Fill in the Blank


violin games

Print out a diagram of a violin without the names of the different parts. Provide students with a word bank and have them label the different parts.

Violin Trivia

Learning about the various famous violin players throughout history is a great way to supplement violin lessons. Below are some brain-busting violin trivia games for students.

Baseball



Separate the class into two teams. Team A is “up to bat” and Team B is “in the outfield”. A member of Team B (i.e. the pitcher) will ask a member of Team A ( i.e. the hitter) a violin trivia question. If the hitter gets it right, he or she advances to the next plate. If not, he or she gets a strike—three strikes and he or she is out.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire



This violin game works the same as the game “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Students are asked a series of violin trivia questions. Each student has three life lines: 50/50, ask a classmate, and skip. Every time they get a question right, they’re given a fake dollar or piece of candy. The child goes until he or she doesn’t have any more life lines.

Who Am I?



Every week, assign a famous violin player or composer to a student. After researching the individual, the student will stand in front of the class while others students ask him or her questions about the individual. The student must answer the questions as if he or she were the famous violin player or composer.

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