As a music teacher at Willan Academy of Music, you know that keeping children engaged during lessons, especially those aged 9 and under, can be a challenge. Repetition games can be a fun and effective way to help you achieve your teaching goals.
To play these games, start by selecting a passage or technique to work on and drill it through repetition games. Use this as an opportunity to provide feedback to your students. After each repetition, add an additional task to keep them challenged, if necessary.
To play these games, follow these steps:
- Pick a passage or technique that you want your students to work on.
- Ask your students to play it once and listen carefully.
- Give them some feedback on how they did and what they can improve. (note: focusing on one issue at a time, one arrow at a time”)
- Ask them to play it again and see if they can do better.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until they master the passage or technique.
If you want to challenge them more, add some variations or extra tasks after each repetition.
Here are some examples of repetition games:
Me Against You Tally Game.
The goal of the game is for the student to play a designated passage perfectly five times while meeting established goals. After the first correct attempt, the teacher should comment on what the student did well and give a point. For the second point, the teacher should add one more goal in addition to the first goal. The student must remain focused and play flawlessly to win five points. If the student makes a mistake, then the teacher gets a point.
It is important that the teacher sets the goals not too challenging, focusing on one issue at a time (i.e., “one arrow at a time”). This game can be used to work on a specific technique, a passage, or even an entire piece of music. Using tally marks to keep score adds an element of fun and friendly competition to the lesson while encouraging focus and accuracy.
It helps students memorize a piece of music or a scale. To play this game, follow these steps:
- Choose a piece of music or a scale to work on. For example, G major scale.
- Play the first note of the scale. For example, G.
- Ask the student to play the next note of the scale. For example, A.
- Alternate playing the next note of the scale until you reach the end. For example, B (teacher), C (student), D (teacher), E (student), F# (teacher), G (student).
- Repeat the game in reverse order or with a different scale
The Goofy Challenge.
The teacher comes up with challenges at first, but students can create their own as they get more comfortable. These challenges can include standing on one foot, switching feet, hopping up and down while playing, or sticking out their tongue.
What’s your favorite number?
This is a game where you ask the student his/her favorite number and then play a passage that many times. This game is fun and engaging for kids, but you should not use it too often. It can help the student relax and enjoy the lesson.
Roll the Dice
Roll The Dice is another game where the teacher selects a passage to work on, and either the teacher or student rolls the dice to determine how many repetitions they have to do.
Go Fish is a fun game where you write down different dynamic, tempo markings, or numbers on small pieces of paper and put them in a bowl. Before each repetition, the student must “go fish” to determine how they must play.
These repetition games will make your students forget that they are playing the same thing over and over, while also bringing laughter and joy to the practice room. Remember that practicing doesn’t always have to be serious and hard work.