Teaching score study skills should be an integral part of home practice preparation. Piano students who know how to seek out information in their music have more success when they are at home on their own pianos.
And, of course, more success during home practice means faster progress, happier piano students, happier piano parents and a thriving studio.
Today we’re sharing a fun, hands-on piano game you can play with your young students to help them understand their current piece, seek out information in their music and practice more efficiently at home!
Keep reading to find out how to play “Score Study Stickies”.
How To Play Score Study Stickies
Because teaching piano already involves a boatload of preparation, I have a certain fondness for low prep activities. Score Study Stickies can be set up in 3 minutes, and requires a just a pen and a pad of ten sticky notes.
This game is best played at the beginning of a lesson and can be prepped as your student is unpacking her materials or playing through warm ups. To set it up, grab your sticky notes, a pen, a timing device, and your student’s current piano piece. While your student is not looking, draw 10 images on the sticky notes (one image per post-it note) that represents elements in your student’s piano piece that you would like to reinforce. For example, you could draw: a quarter rest, a slur, an accent, two notes that represent a skip, primary chords, tempo markings, a key signature, a crescendo etc.
When you are ready to begin the game, follow the steps below:
- Sit on the floor opposite your student. Instruct her to place her current piano piece on the ground in front of her and then to hold the pad of sticky notes with the images facing down.
- Remind her that the game is a race and should be played as quickly as possible.
- To begin, set two minutes on the timer and then have your student stick the first note to her forehead.
- Give her a clue to help her identify the image on the sticky note on her forehead. You might say things like, “It tells you to play softly.” or “It is a line that connotes two notes that are not the same.”
- When she correctly guesses the image on her forehead, she finds the image (the rest or slur or crescendo etc.) in her piano piece and then removes the sticky note and puts a new one its place. If she cannot guess the image after receiving two clues, the sticky note is discarded.
- Play continues until the timer has run out. At this point your student can count the number of images guessed correctly.
Four More Off-The-Bench Activities
In the coming weeks your students are going to be bogged down with winter recital preparation. During this time, it is important that your kiddos are reminded that piano lessons are not “all work and no play”. And the best way to do this is to devote a few minutes of every lesson to off-the-bench game play.
If you’re looking for laugh-out-loud, educational entertainment that can take the stress out of recital prep then check out Teach Piano Today’s PianoGameClub. For just $8 a month, members receive 4 theory-focused board games that are as fun for teachers to play as they are for students. Learn more here.