You have a lot of games. Do you do them just with the student at their lesson or do you incorporate these games into group lessons? Do the students enjoy doing these games during their lessons? How do you do that?
Yes to all of the above! Ask any of my students and they’ll tell you how much I love games! We play games all the time, but especially at the group classes. If possible, I integrate games into the lessons that relate to what the student is studying. For beginning students, we might play a lot of note identification games; for intermediate students, we might play a game to introduce or reinforce a new rhythm pattern; advanced students might utilize games for understanding key signatures or 7th chords.
We also use various practice games during the lesson so that I can help them learn effective practice strategies to use when they are practicing at home. Visit HowToPractice.com for a treasure trove of practice ideas and games. I’ll often play the “Penny Practice Game” during the lesson and then send the student home with a handful of pennies so they can use the same strategy in their practicing.
Yes, as far as I can tell, my students love playing the games. So, either I attract students who like to play games or they get converted pretty quickly. I see games not as something that takes time away from the “real” lesson, but as a complement to the concepts we are studying. I use them to teach and reinforce in a way that is hopefully clear and memorable to the student. It is part of the broad-based musical education and understanding that I aim to give each of my students.
Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!