Guitar Lessons in Tulsa | Guitar Lesson Games

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Hi, this is Andrea with Curtis Music Academy, and I have a podcast today on games at the piano and these could be used for guitar lessons also. So sometimes when I’m teaching children how to play the piano, we use games, first of all, because they’re very fun. Second of all, because it kind of breaks the monotony of it, of just playing for so long. You know, children have sometimes a short attention span. I think they say the rule of thumb is if they’re five years old, they have a five minute attention span. If they’re 10 years old, they have a ten minute attention span. I don’t know how true that is, but I have noticed that playing games in the music lesson really helps the kids learn. 

And it also is a good break. So it’s something different. So one of the first games that I play is a heartbeat rhythm game, and that game is basically just for hearts and you have to put different notes on top of that. This is useful in piano and guitar lessons. So we have the quarter, not the half note, the whole note. And sometimes if we’ve learned it, we also have the dotted half note. So we arrange these notes according to a measure. So there’s only four beats in a measure and the students have to clap out this heartbeat rhythm game. And so it’s a lot of fun. It’s active. And normally, once they’re used to doing one measure of heartbeats, we add in a second measure of heartbeats. So they’re learning about rhythm predominantly and how to count. 

And if they really accomplish that well in piano or guitar lessons down the road, I might have them arrange the notes so that they can clap out their own rhythms as well. And so this gets them thinking because you can’t fit a whole note and a half note in a dotted half note in the same measure. They have to do math. Everything has to equal four. So if they have one quarter note, then they say, OK, I only have three beats left. I could do a dotted half note. I could do three more quarter notes, I could do another quarter note and a half note. Everything has to equal four. So that is one of my go to games and another game that I like to do. 

It’s called Landmark Landmines and this is a game learning about the staff and the staff can seem really overwhelming to new students, especially kids. This could be used in music lessons, piano lessons, and guitar lessons. And especially if I’ve noticed through experience that if you teach it incorrectly, it becomes confusing. And they don’t want to learn how to play on the ground staff. But if you teach it correctly, they actually are excited and they want to learn about the ground staff and it just comes a little bit more easily to them. So if you can picture a blank grand staff and it has a troubled clef and a bass clef and this game has a path going from the lowest part of the bass clef all the way to the highest part of the treble, each note to whether it’s aligned baselines, baselines, bass. 

And so how it works is we have two ponds in a dice. And so, you know, we take turns rolling the dice and whatever you you roll, if you roll a three, you have to go forward three spots. So normally with the really beginner kids who are just learning about the grand staff, we just if we land on a line note, we say, OK is a line or a space note. And then of course, the answer. So they are just getting used to seeing the staff and used to notes being on the staff and used to notes being in order in. This is especially fun in piano lessons.

There is an order to it. It’s not just overwhelming. Another thing we really focus on is the treble clef and what is this? And then we work on the bass clef and we might even spend some time drawing the treble clef and drawing the bass just because the more that they get used to doing those things, the more confident they are playing music on the ground staff. So we also talk about the five lines in the four spaces and things like that and how notes can either be sitting on a line or a space. And we also talk about how there’s one note that special, it’s middle C, it’s not attached to the trouble if it’s not attached to the bass clef, all of those things in piano and guitar lessons. 

So it’s so valuable for piano and guitar lessons, especially we work out of a Faber book and we call it the Purple Book because The Purple is the beginning book for children. And when we reach the point where where they are playing out of the grand staff, I usually just take time and really pause and really let them get confident at seeing the grand staff because they’ve just gone from just reading notes on a page to now they’re going to be reading notes on a grand staff. So we really just take a lot of time at that point. One fun element of this song is that there are certain notes, a part of the staff that are colored in and this is just really for the sake of the game. But if you land on a colored in spot, you have to go all the way back to the beginning. 

And it’s so funny because sometimes when I play this game, nobody lands on a color blind spot and we’re over where the game is over in like a minute. And then other times it seems like that’s the only spot we land on. And so then the game kind of drags on. So I have determined that if you land on a colored spot, you have a choice. You either have to go back to the beginning or you have to stand up and do a jumping jack. So it’s silly, but at the same time, it just it it’s kind of like breaks the monotony and it keeps the game going, basically. Now I have students who have been doing the green stuff for a while and we still do landmark. Land mines with them, I just make it a little bit more challenging for them in the sense that they actually have to name the note that they land on in piano or guitar lessons.

So they don’t say, is it a line or is it a space? They actually have to say this is a C note or this is a D note, et cetera. So this can be a challenge. And I really focus with this age bracket on two things for the trouble. If we use face for the base clef, we use all cows eat grass. Those are my two strategies to find any note on either two claps. So I’m always helping them with that strategy. I want that to become a tool for them, that as they’re reading music and as they’re sight reading, if they encounter a note that they don’t know that they can use, that they can use face or all cows eat grass- especially for the piano or guitar lessons. So that is another game that I use, it’s fun, and even if it’s just for the purpose of sometimes doing something different in a lesson, it really works out well. 

And I’ve noticed the kids really enjoy it. Another one of a games that I have found and usually I do find these online, I I’ve I’ve Googled some different piano lesson and guitar lessons games and I’ve watched some YouTube clips and I found some really great ideas. So I’ve just incorporated some of the things that I’ve seen. Another one is called Dogs and Frogs. So this is like for very beginning students. And it helps them learn how to find the note names on the piano, that can be overwhelming because there’s like I don’t know exactly how many, there’s 88 keys on the whole piano. So if we’re talking just about the white notes, I think it would be like 60 keys or so, maybe sixty one. 

That’s a lot of notes to remember. And of course, there’s strategies, there’s repeats. Obviously, there’s more than one C note on the piano, for example. But I use dogs and frogs, so usually with young students, my youngest student is four years old and I still use this for my older students, maybe seven or eight or maybe even older, if I think it would be funny or kind of goofy and fun for them, too. So I printed off some small dogs on paper and I printed off some frogs. So basically the dogs go on the two block notes and it usually just sits right there. The frogs go on the three block notes. So the dogs help people the for dog, it helps them find the D. So that’s why it’s on the two block notes. 

The D is in the center of the two block notes. So usually kids have a really funny time finding all the dogs and playing all of them. And I’ve printed off a variety of different dog clipart. So there are some cute dogs or some funny dogs and it’s just really funny. Same thing with the frogs. I do the frogs. The frogs are sitting on the three block notes and the F note F for frog is on the left side of the three block notes. So they go through and they play all the apps, they notice all the different frogs and they just have a good time. 

So usually I do this several times in a row, so they’re really confident. So that way next time, without the all the dogs and all the frogs, they can sit down and play all the D on the piano without any questions, or they can play all the efforts or all the cheese. So I might do that several times in a row. We might spend a lot of time there. It’s just really I just noticed that when they’ve mastered that is when I really move on. So that game usually just takes a few minutes as well. But it is another really fun one. All right. Well, have a great day. I’ll see you at the next podcast.