Category Archives: Music Games

Teaching Chords with Games

As I began using games in my studio to teach theory, I found there were not many games for teaching chords to students. In order to continue using games to help my students understand more advanced theory concepts, I started creating my own games focused on these concepts. This week’s game is Cupcake Chords.


Cupcake Chords gives students practice identifying, playing, and spelling the most common major chords. It includes practice  product photo copywith C,D,E,F,G,A,B,B flat and E flat Major. Students are either asked to name a chord, play a chord, or what notes are in a particular chord. Children love the cupcake theme of this game and it is a great way to solidify at student’s understanding of common chords.

From now to next Wednesday (October 26th-30th) only, this game will be 20% off the regular price. Just use code NOV20. This code will only be good till Wednesday at midnight. You can find the game in the store.


I hope you enjoy this wonderful game with your students this week!

A Simple Game to Teach and Practice Note Reading

Flashcard hunt-a great game to work on note readingEach week my goal is to provide a game for you to use in your studio. This will be a game that I personally have used in my own studio with great success so you will know that it is kid tested and approved!

Looking for a simple game to practice note reading with things you already have in your teaching bag? All you need is a set of flash cards and a piano.

Take the set of flashcards you are working on with a student and hide them around the room. Have students search for each flash card and run to the piano and play the corresponding note as they find each card. If you want to add an extra challenge you can set a timer and see how fast a student can find and play the notes.

Music NotesThis is an excellent game to work on not only naming notes, but also playing them at the piano, witch is the end goal.

You could easily begin lessons with this game or bring lessons to a fun close.

If you are looking for a good set of flash cards Joy Morin at Color in My Piano has a great jumbo set.

Anne Crosby Gaudet and Susan Paradis have great smaller sets.

Making Piano Technique Fun-Ideas for Fixing the Problematic low wrist

Looking for a fun way to make piano technique relatable for little ones? I have found that very young students don’t completely grasp why they need use proper playing technique when learning the piano. They just want to learn new songs. I am always thrilled when students are excited about playing pieces but I have yet to find students excited about technique. So over the next few weeks I will be covering some of the tricks I have learned that help students understand and get more excited about playing technique.

Ideas For Fixing Low WristsTeaching Piano Technique Part one: Ideas For Fixing Low Wrists

When students first start playing piano they often play with a low wrist.  A first, there may be no direct effect on their playing. They’re just playing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. But what happens when these students grow up? Can they play as well with a low wrist? Not really! And not only will their skills be in danger but they could experience a playing injury and have to quite all together. So how can we as piano teachers put an early stop to these low wrists? Here are some tips I have found very helpful for young students.


  1. Using Stuffed Animals in Piano LessonsGet a stuffed animal. I like using an alligator but there are many options. Have the student pretend the area blow their wrist is a swamp. Then say something like, “Whenever your wrist gets low Mr. Swampy the friendly alligator is going to come give you a friendly nudge. Can you play your piece without Mr. Swampy giving you a nudge?”  Whenever their wrist gets to low give a gentle nudge with the stuffed animal.
  2. Have the students pretend there is a helium balloon attached to each wrist. This balloon is then “pulling” their wrist up. This is a good one for kids who aren’t comfortable having their wrists adjusted while playing.
  3. Finally get a highlighter (make sure it is washable). Hold it below the student’s wrist. The highlighter should only be close enough to touch their wrist if it is too low. The student’s goal is to play their piece without getting any colored marks. This is a great game to use with the slightly older student who is past stuffed animals.

Supercharge Your Piano Studio This Year With This one Easy Tip

Supercharge your piano studio this fall with this one idea and see it grow.I think all piano teachers discover at some point that students dread theory books. Early in my career I found that it was not worth the effort to keep re-assigning theory pages, because students weren’t doing them. Instead I started looking for another way to teach theory through games.

I found that students loved learning through games and were effectively learning theory without even realizing it, better than with theory pages! So I started using games every week instead of giving theory books.  Planning a music theory game every week has helped my students not only become better musicians but also they look forward with excitement to every lesson. Parents then see how much their children are learning while enjoying their lessons and are quick to refer other families to my studio.  Though I started out with the goal of teaching music theory in a fun and engaging way, I reaped so many other advantages from this idea. Student’s love taking lessons and rarely if ever want to quite piano lessons, so I increased my retention rate, and my studio has grown because parents want to share how much their children are enjoying their lessons.

Using Music Games in the Piano StudioI personally think there are two keys to including theory games successfully in piano lessons.   First is using a different game every week. The game can still be reviewing the same concept but if we as teachers always use the same 5 games, then students are eventually going to become board. Lessons have become predictable. The second valuable key to successfully including games in lessons is planning ahead. I personally like to plan the skills I want to teach and plan the accompanying games for an entire semester in either August or December. By planning ahead I know what I need to have prepared for each lesson and will not be scrambling at the last minute to gather the necessary games.  The second benefit of planning ahead helps make sure that I am not needing to invent a game that a student will enjoy and will teach the skills I want them to learn all at the last moment.  Need more game resources for your students? Subscribe and receive a new free game each week.


How have you used games in your studio? Which games are your student’s favorites?




Search and Find for Preschool Piano Students

Simple and fun Preschool Piano GameRecently I started teaching a preschool boy. In the past I have always had a small handful of preschool piano students. When I first started teaching children ages 4-5 there were very few resources for teaching preschoolersso I always had to start from scratch. Since then I have found a few resources to use as guides.  Andrea and Trevor Dow over at Teach Piano Today have created WunderKeys, an excellent resource for preschoolers which I am currently usuing. I am enjoying using this program  and as always I enjoy adding to excellent resources with my own games.  This week I created a search and find for my preschooler. The game way huge hit, and since we played it before the lesson it helped get the after school jitters out.  I printed cards with treble clef, bass, clef, quarter notes, whole notes, and half notes. I then hid them around the room. I then instructed him to find 3 quarter notes etc until all the notes/symbols were found. (I do not call the notes by their proper names with this age. Instead I use One, Too-oo and No no won’t go. More on this later)


Download the search and find cards here.