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#954070 - 03/07/08 11:52 AM Piano Theory Games
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13734
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I have a group lesson next week, and I'm looking to buy a couple of games for the kids to do. My group lessons have a wide range of skill levels, so that is why I think having a couple will do, one for the Intermediate students and one for the elementary ones, where the elementary students could possibly be on teams.

I did a search and someone recommended Music Mind Games, and I'm looking into that now. I've also seem Whirligig games, too. What do you recommend?
private piano/voice teacher FT

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#954071 - 03/07/08 01:31 PM Re: Piano Theory Games
ClaraSchumann Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 73
Have you looked at TCW games? They have many, many games at multiple levels. Some of their products are available through KJOS. You can see the rest at their website tcwresources.com.

I'm not sure if you can get the games before you need them next week, but I highly recommend them for future lessons. My students have loved all of the games. Some of their favorites include: Screamer, Triad Spoons, Key Quest, Rockin' Rhythms, Scale Scramble, Note Nabber, Perfect One.

Most of these are hands-on card games that work best with 4-8 people. If I have a mixed-level or mixed-age group, it works best if I assign pairs or teams to work together. Often, the rules are similar to common games, like UNO, spoons, etc., which the kids already know.

Very fun ways to review and reinforce theory.

#954072 - 03/07/08 09:58 PM Re: Piano Theory Games
mindyw Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 13
Loc: Iowa
I like the Whirligig games, but they can sometimes take quite a while to actually finish- or does that mean my students are exceptionally slow? \:\)

A book I have pulled lots of ideas from is "A Galaxy of Games for the Music Class". You have to make or find the materials needed for the games, but it is very economical. The book breaks down the games into different area- note reading, note writing, etc. and also classifies them by size of group needed and age range. Once you get a few things going, the mind just seems to invent all sorts of possibilities.

Have fun! I find group lessons that involve games and candy (first used as game pieces) tend to be a hit with the kids.

#954073 - 03/08/08 10:17 AM Re: Piano Theory Games
Karisofia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 201
Loc: Wisconsin
Originally posted by mindyw:
Have fun! I find group lessons that involve games and candy (first used as game pieces) tend to be a hit with the kids. [/b]

Sugar... the salvation of teachers everywhere!
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#954074 - 03/08/08 12:08 PM Re: Piano Theory Games
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13734
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
LOL! I took at look at TCW games, but I guess it's hard to tell the quality from the website. I have seen Whirligig games in person, however, and really thought they looked very nice. I ended up buying 3 of those games, and I like the idea of using candy for pieces. I 'll also check out that book for future reference, mindyw. I would like to hold a camp this summer instead of simply continuing private lessons, so it will be very helpful for that.

Actually, not to hijack my own topic, but has anyone else done summer camps, and if so, did you do certain themes? I was thinking of holding a composition & improv camp, with possibly incorporating a drumming circle, a technology camp where they would learn to use software to compose and record music, but I haven't really formulated the ideas yet. Does anyone have suggestions?
private piano/voice teacher FT

#954075 - 03/08/08 09:54 PM Re: Piano Theory Games
ClaraSchumann Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 73
As for quality of TCW games: they are made from fairly heavy-duty cardstock. They don't have the feel or look of professionally-printed games. But that hasn't bothered. I know other teachers laminated all the cards, but I'm going on five years heavy monthly use of some games, and they're fine. I thought the cards would be ruined by now, but happily I was wrong.

Summer camps are a big part of my studio every year. Last year, we did a rhythm theme and made these great tube drums: http://rhythmweb.com/homemade/tubes.htm

The drums were a lot of work. I did most of the constructing before camp, and students finished and decorated. The work was worth it. Lots of fun at camp.

#954076 - 03/08/08 10:43 PM Re: Piano Theory Games
ClaraSchumann Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 73
I just remembered another good source for theory games:


The Perfect Pitch interval ear training game is quite fun. We play one quick round of that every month at group class and I can't believe how much students have improved their interval recognition by ear. We've played it enough now that we get through a BINGO round in 5 minutes and blackout in under 10. It comes in three levels.

I noticed it's pretty pricey, at 49.95 a level. Two years ago, I purchased all three levels and a bunch of other baseball-themed games as a set for just under $100.00. You might check around their website and see if you can still do that.

One thing about the cost of games: I charge a materials fee for summer camp, in addition to the tuition, and use that money to buy new games.

Now, though, I have plenty, and the problem now is that we never have enough time to play as long as the kids want. This summer, my students have requested we just play games at piano camp. And I have a stockpile of them, so it won't cost anything. The cost isn't so bad over time, especially since I rotate camp themes every few years.


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