Call Trevor and I old fashioned, but we still watch Jeopardy on TV. In fact, it’s well beyond a simple viewing experience. Instead it’s an all-out battle of the wits with bragging rights as the sought-after prize. We don’t sit and watch peacefully – we yell answers at the TV in an effort to not only beat the on-screen contestants.. but also each other. Our two kids are even into it and regularly best us in the pop culture categories.
One night I was “playing Jeopardy” with friends and a category on classical music came up. As I happily shouted answers to the TV my friends looked at me like I had sprouted a second head… “How do you KNOW all of that?”
When confronted with my own depth of knowledge that had soaked into my musical brain I began to wonder if piano students these days have the same level of understanding. Obviously students all over the globe are playing Beethoven’s sonatas, Chopin’s nocturnes and Mozart’s concertos… but do they really know what “sonata”, “nocturne” and “concerto” mean?… and are their performances suffering if they do not?
If your students would be left with their finger on the buzzer in Jeopardy’s classical music category then we’re here to help! Today we’re sharing a fun printable piano game that you can use with your students to reinforce classical composition terms.
A Teen Game To Make Classical Music Theory Meaningful
The game we’re sharing today works well as a standalone activity and works even better when paired with our piano book, The Chopin Sessions: Classical Pop Piano Solos. The Chopin Sessions, now available on Amazon, is a pop-infused tribute to the music of Chopin that has been getting rave review from teachers and students (listen to a sample below).
Now on to the game…
The Chopin Shuffle helps reinforce a student’s understanding of common classical music compositions like ballades, nocturnes, preludes, etudes, waltzs and more. And while the game will help to develop music trivia grand masters, the real benefit arises when a student sits back on the piano bench.
Why? Because a great piano performance does not arise from striking the right key at the right moment for the right amount of time. A great piano performance arises from an accurate and through understanding of the meaning and history of a piano piece. A pianist that can not correctly define a nocturne will make a mess of some of Chopin’s most popular piano pieces.
The Chopin Shuffle is a piano game based on ‘Memory’. To play, spread the 18 playing cards (picture side up) out on the floor. Next, instruct your student to flip over a card and then flip over a second card to find its match. For example, if your student flips over a card that reads, “Concerto”, they must attempt to find the card that reads, “A musical composition for a solo instrument or instruments accompanied by an orchestra.” If a match is found the student collects the cards and then takes another turn. If a match is not found, the cards are replaced and it is your turn. Play continues until all cards have been collected.
Click on the image below to download and print the game file.
Looking For Pop-Infused Classical Teen Music?
The Chopin Sessions is part of our teen music collection. You can listen to samples from our teen collections below. If it sounds like music your teens will love, visit Amazon to get The Amadeus Anthems, The Chopin Sessions and The Beethoven Sessions