53 Ideas to Make Practice Fun - Activities and Games
Choosing Pieces to Play
Go Fish/Cards: Make paper fish or cards with song titles or skills (name keys, finger numbers, listening game - close eyes/find key, name notes, clap rhythms, etc.)
Use book’s table of contents or a list of pieces, play pieces in order listed, or reverse order from most recent to oldest; Put numbers next to songs and roll dice, play song with that number; Play all odd numbers one day and even numbers the next day; Highlight titles – ex. one piece yellow, one piece pink, one green, then one day play all the yellows, next day all the pinks, etc.
Play all the pieces in a certain key, minor keys, or by one composer, or in one time period
Use a timer, play review pieces for a certain amount of time
Play rock, paper, scissors to choose song
Play all pieces that begin with finger 1, finger 2, etc., or C, G, etc.
Divide pieces between 7 days of week, then play that day’s pieces. If you miss a day, just pick up where you left off
Write songs on small paper, place in plastic eggs, take from basket and play, or hunt for them and play
Make a chart with songs, skills, or repetitions, give a reward when filled
Clap beginning of song, child names song, then plays it
Write pieces/skills on a spinner and spin it to choose
Varying Ways to Play
Play a duet; With the CD or backing tracks; Very slowly, softly, loud; While singing; Transpose into different key; Play in different octave; Play with pedal; Eyes closed; Looking out window; Standing up; Standing on one foot; While someone makes noise or moves around (Concentration game); Play with metronome. (These can be written on fish or cards)
Practice in sections – use cards with numbers or letters for sections; Dice for section numbers; Magic beads; play # of your age; use dice to decide #; play whole song at end
Counting/Repetitions – After each rep: add one Lego or block to a building; Draw a picture – one part for each rep; Paper airplane, add one fold; Throw a soft ball into basket for each rep; add a piece to a puzzle for each rep; take a turn on a board game after each rep; Magic Beads; do a somersault or jumping jack after each rep (good for antsy kids); Toss It - crumple a piece of paper and toss in trash can after each rep, if you miss, play again
·Review pieces – For each excellently played review piece, make a link on a paper chain with the title written on. See how long your chain can become!
Have a home concert weekly; Learn words to songs or make up your own lyrics and sing them; Perform for visitors, at school, church, etc.; Record student’s playing on video, post online or send to relatives. Can you think of more ideas? Please share!