Planning piano lessons for teenagers is a lot less work than planning lessons for young children. Because teenagers do not wiggle, yawn, chat or complain when they have to sit on a piano bench for 30 minutes or more, their lessons are less likely to contain a wide variety of activities.
But just because teenagers don’t get wiggly on the bench, doesn’t mean that they don’t need some time away from the keys!
So, today we’re sharing “Beethoven In Bits”, a cool printable puzzle activity that will give your teenagers the break they deserve while improving their sight reading skills and their understanding of motives, motives in repetition and motives in sequence.
Beethoven In Bits: A Printable Theory Puzzle
The game we’re sharing today works well as a standalone activity and works even better when paired with our piano book, The Beethoven Sessions: Classical Pop Piano Solos.
The Beethoven Sessions, available here on Amazon, is a pop-infused tribute to the music of Beethoven. Whether you use the repertoire to ignite a passion for piano or as a jumping-off point for exploring the classics, The Beethoven Sessions will inspire the next generation of piano students.
Beethoven In Bits uses simplified musical excerpts taken from piano pieces in The Beethoven Sessions. By playing the game, your students will reinforce their understanding and recognition of motives, motives in repetition and motives in sequence.
To play, follow these instructions (and check out the video below):
- Print and laminate Beethoven’s Portrait Puzzle found here. Important: Read the printing tips at the bottom of this post. The portrait is divided into nine “puzzle pieces”. Before cutting out the puzzle pieces, examine the back of the portrait with your student and complete the following steps:
- Look at the first musical excerpt (numbered “1”). This is a motive.
- Look at the musical excerpt next to this motive. This excerpt is Motive #1 in repetition. This means a portion of the motive has been repeated.
- Look at the final musical excerpt in this row. This excerpt is Motive #1 in sequence. This means the motive has been transposed to a higher or lower setting.
- Repeat the steps above for Motive #2 and Motive #3.
- Next, cut out the puzzle pieces, shuffle them and then spread them out on the floor with the musical excerpts facing up.
- On the word, “Go”, start the timer and have your student arrange the musical excerpts in the order that they appeared before the puzzle was cut into pieces. Hint: Remind them that the motive in repetition follows the original motive and the motive in sequence follows the motive in repetition.
- When your student believes the puzzle pieces are in the correct order, have her flip each piece over (being sure to keep the pieces in their positions). If the musical excerpts were arranged correctly, Beethoven’s portrait should appear in the correct facial order. If there are any mistakes your student must flip the cards over and make the appropriate corrections.
- When the cards have been flipped over and correctly display Beethoven’s portrait, stop the timer. In future games, the student can attempt to beat her time.
Important Printing Tips:
This activity only works if the double-sided printing is done correctly. If done incorrectly, Beethoven’s face will look like a Picasso. So, when manually printing the file, put the paper into your printer with the leading edge first and print Page 1. Then place the paper face down and feed it back into the printer with the leading edge first again. Note: The edge of the page that goes into the printer first is called the leading edge. If it’s easier, mark the leading edge before printing Page 1 so that you can locate it again when printing Page 2.
If this spacial challenge gives you a headache, try this: Download File 2 here. Print it out as two separate pages. Paste the pages back to back, laminate them and cut them out. Note: This method will only work with File 2.
Looking For More Piano Music For Teens?
The Beethoven Sessions is part of our teen music collection. You can listen to one sample track from The Beethoven Sessions below. If it sounds like music your teens will love, check it out on Amazon. And while you’re there be sure to look for The Amadeus Anthems too!