“Play the Interval, Steal My Heart” is the perfect kick-off to Valentines Day week in your studio. Pick-up a bag of Valentines Day candy and have some fun with intervals!
“Play the Interval, Steal My Heart”:
This game helps to improve your students’ speed in playing or identifying harmonic and melodic intervals in a given key. To play this piano teaching game you will need the entire suit of hearts from a deck of cards, a timer, and some small Valentines candy.
Playing the Game…
1. Choose a key with which your student is comfortable. For most beginning students, a good choice is C Major or G Major. Remind them of the accidentals that occur within that key. Have them play the scale.
2. Shuffle the heart cards, and place the deck on the bench beside your student. On your “go” the student flips over a card and plays the interval (harmonic or melodic, major or minor… you choose) that corresponds with the number on the card (with the root being the tonic note of the key you have given them.) For example, 3 = a major third, 4 = a perfect fourth, 8 = octave, etc. For each interval the student plays correctly, they get to keep the card. Intervals that were played incorrectly result in that card being kept by the teacher.
3. Continue play until the timer runs out. Each card they have in their pile corresponds to a candy they receive at the end of the lesson.
4. If a student draws a face card, the following applies:
a. King: They get to “steal” the cards from the teacher pile. These cards are now considered to be “correct” and they get to keep them.
b. Queen: The timer is re-set to allow game play to continue longer, and therefore gives your student more time to collect cards.
c. Jack: The pile of “correct” cards is stolen by the teacher and the student must build-up their pile again (if you’re running low on cards, the teacher’s pile can be recycled back into the game).
d. Aces are wild in this game too! When the Ace is drawn, both the student deck and the teacher deck are combined and returned to the original pile for the game to begin from scratch.
This game can be changed by instead having the teacher play the interval and the student name the interval by ear by selecting the correct heart card from the deck and placing it in their pile. Incorrectly named intervals go in the “teacher pile”. The face card rules still apply.
Looking For More?…
Subscribe to TeachPianoToday.com and keep up to date with all of the latest piano teaching tips, strategies and resources.