Why Should Wii Practice?

The same reason I deplore video games is the same reason that so many people love them. They’re addictive. Pianist and cellist, Erica Ann Sipes is on the same page as me, but she has some fascinating thoughts on capitalizing on the psychology behind video games in our music practicing. Her post, Tapping Into the Video Game World When Practicing, is very thought-provoking! Here are a couple snippets that I thought were very insightful:

“Part of the key to being successful in Tetris is learning how to spot patterns quickly and knowing what to do with them.”


“When I am truly playing the game, I succeed, and that, my friends, is addictive.”

I also appreciated this comment from Bob Woody:

“I think the main advantage of video games is the immediate feedback they provide. The goal is clear and the player knows, in real time, how well they’re doing.”

These kinds of discussions are fascinating to me because I love trying to understand what motivates my students and how to tap into that to help them achieve success as musicians. The thought of practicing being addictive, though, is a new one for me! It’s one thing to know what constitutes effective practice (which most of my students do when queried), but it’s a whole different thing to actually implement effective practice strategies (which most of my students don’t). The video game developers have figured out how to keep kids tethered to their screens for hours at a time, and I’m with Erica when it comes to figuring out how to employ similar elements to have them racing to the piano for as much quality practice time as they can get! This will take some thought, but I’m excited to ponder it more in the coming days and hopefully implement some related ideas into next year’s practice incentive theme. 🙂

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