Music Games Galore!

Choosing Music Games for Students to Play
Written by Karen Koch of Music Educator’s Marketplace

In order not to be overwhelmed by the many games that are available, you may need to think through what you wish to accomplish by using games. Here are some questions I ask to help shoppers at conference exhibits, along with some of the specific games that I know of:

* Are you looking for something to be the centerpiece of a group lesson? Try MUSOPOLY or another game that takes some time to play. FORWARD MARCH is also great!

* Are you looking for a waiting area activity or a self-correcting lab activity away from the computer? Consider a Music Jigsaw Puzzle, MUSICOLORIDE Game, MUSIC MATH CARDS, MUSIC SCALE CARDS, or composer coloring books.

* Do you want to improve some specific aspect of musical understanding, such as note-reading, maintaining a steady pulse, recognizing intervals, recognizing key signatures, knowing musical terms, etc.? We have just added a bunch of terrific new games from Whirligig that focus on one concept at a time, i.e. intervals, notes, rhythms, key signatures. We also have other games that are fun, but not new.

* Do you want competition or prefer the harmony of group music-making or rhythm ensembles?

* Do you have space for active games, or need something quieter? Many of the TCW games are active, fun, and noisy! Requiring less space are bingo games, rhythm ensembles (these Clap and Count Cards are great for rhythm ensembles too!), flash card games, and teacher-made ear training activities (show a notated musical phrase and ask students to identify something they hear you play that is not in the notation, such as a changed rhythm or interval).

I just hosted two days of a Music Games Fair for my students who don’t take regular lessons in the summer, but work on sight-reading, music history, and other summer projects. We had great fun playing games and selecting library music for their summer enjoyment. The right games are motivating, educational, entertaining, and encourage the development of musical friendships, whether between teacher and student, or among groups of students. My teaching would be much poorer without games!

A note from Natalie: What excellent advice from Karen! I encourage you to visit the Music Educator’s Marketplace to expore some of these games for yourself. Even better, though, bring the store to you! They offer an innovative MEM Store-In-A-Box. Organize a Music Games workshop for your local music teachers association, or, if you don’t have one, invite some music teaching colleagues over and explore the games together. What a fun idea! I’m hoping to try this out with our local association this fall, so I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. 🙂

Free Business Cards!

Check out this amazing offer from Vista Print! (Just click on the Free Business Cards link in the left hand column once you get to the VistaPrint site.)

Choose from 42 designs and receive 250 free personalized business cards. I just placed my order and the only expense is $5.25 for shipping. Of course, there are lots of other options available, if you want to pay extra for them. I especially debated about whether to pay the extra $9.99 to get the glossy finish instead of the matte finish. I finally decided to just keep it to the completely free offer (plus shipping) to try it out and see what I think. I’ve been making my own business cards for years, but I really like the idea of getting a glossy coated card. So, if I’m please with what I receive from VistaPrint, I may just take the plunge and give it a try.

In the meantime, it certainly won’t hurt to have a couple hundred free business cards! 🙂