We’ve just released four of our most creative games yet to our PianoGameClub members (we preview them below). If you’re one of those members… and even if you’re not, today’s post is all the inspiration you’ll need to make sure to include “Game Time” from the very first lesson of the new teaching year!
I was a sensitive little kid who did not enjoy the first few weeks of September and the start of school. One day I was enjoying an inner tube float down the river, the next day I was jam-packed into school halls with 400 other children.
It’s a chaotic and stressful time of year for all kids… a time when they become a number; part of a schedule to be completed.
And since this chaos and stress can also carry over into piano lessons, there is one thing I make sure to do with all of my piano students to bring a sense of fun, calm, and focus back into their lives… Game Time!
Below I’m sharing 5 reasons why “Game Time” is exactly what your piano students need this September… and how it can cement a positive, lasting relationship that will improve student retention down the road.
5 Ways Piano Games Can Make You A September Superhero…
1. The one-on-one time spent with you during a piano lesson is likely one of the few times you student has an adult’s undivided attention during his day…especially in September… and what better way to make use of this special time than to sit down with your student and really get to know him while playing a piano game?!
Game play brings out the fun side in everyone and gives you the chance to learn things about your student that you may never have known. Allow yourself to really “get into the game” and play against your student as you would a friend. iPad apps are great.. but nothing can replace the relationship building that happens when two people play a board game. You’ll be giving him the attention he needs at the time he needs it most.
2. Piano games are a fantastic way to boost the confidence of your struggling piano students who may also be having a hard time in school. Sure it’s important that your students learn the intended concepts that each game introduces… but it’s not a completely bad idea to occasionally “make a mistake” and allow him to win once in awhile. Give him full gloating rights, challenge him to a do-over, tell his parents that he obliterated you at his theory game… these are all important moments of feeling successful that he’ll associate with piano forever.
3. Piano games give parents a creative way to be involved with home practice without being the “time cop” or “nagging reminder”. At the time of year when you want to establish pro-active routines, getting parents involved immediately is key.
How? Package up a lending library of games in your studio (our PianoGameClub games all come with an unlimited printing license) and send a new one home each week with your students. Not only will they be working on theory all week (without realizing it!) but they’ll also be involving their family in their piano activities. Having families who are involved results in a greater commitment to lessons and better retention long-term. Plus… sending home awesome-looking and fun-to-play games are a great word-of-mouth generator!
4. Piano games are a non-threatening way to review concepts that still need work. When mistakes are made within the context of a game it’s all just “part of the game”. When mistakes are made on the piano it is instantly noticeable. For those students who need a few lessons to get back on track after a break, piano games can help you assess what needs attention without damaging the ego of your young ones.
5. Piano games are a wonderful way to build community at the start of a new school year. Your students love to feel as though they belong to something. One way to create this feeling is to build friendships between your students.
For the first few weeks of lessons, invite your students to arrive 5 minutes early to their lesson time. By overlapping 5 minutes from each back-to-back lesson you can set your students up to play a 10 minute game together between lesson change-overs. It’s a wonderful way to make friends within your studio and really does build that valuable sense of community quickly.
Put These In Your Back-To-School Toolkit
So… where do you get piano games that will help you accomplish these 4 things? We have just released four new and incredible games to our PianoGameClub members!
If you click the image below you can see a preview of the four games we’re sending out this month. If you like what you see, hop on over to PianoGameClub to sign up. You’ll receive the set of four games immediately, plus you’ll get this kind of awesomeness delivered to your inbox each and every month to keep your kiddos excited and motivated no matter what the time of year!