TO CREATE PIANO GAMES FOR KIDS
work best when their secret object is to build a musical skill.
I say "secret" because your agenda shouldn't be apparent to the
child. They should feel what a child feels playing: joy.
presentation of the game is as important as the game itself. The
child must feel a sense of play rather than work, or their mind
will not give you its best.
What you are
looking to unlock is the child's natural intelligence, which
every child has regardless of musical talent. Call it common
sense or horse sense.
Piano games can
be absurdly simple for preschoolers, or terribly sophisticated
for teenagers. But what they all share is knowledge cloaked as
The first step
in creating or using a piano game is to determine its purpose.
Often, in a
lesson, I see that a certain idea or skill is foggy, so I
instantly veer off on what appears to be a comical tangent, but
is actually a foray into the subject that is giving them
trouble. The case is almost always that a task can't be
completed because a "precursor" skill is not yet in place.
For example, a
child might have difficulty using a certain finger or set of
fingers in a song, so I instantly isolate the problem. Suppose
the problem is that they don't quite get the idea that the
thumb is the leadoff finger.
I would make up
a game called "Leader of the Hand" and we would play silly
games involving distinguishing the thumb from the other fingers.
Become "Professor Fingerbingle," a stupid old man who has
trouble with his fingers. At the end of five minutes of fun,
that child will be forever certain where their thumbs are and how to use
There is a look
on a child's face when they are exerting all their
intelligence in the act of fun.
That is the mental state I am
looking for, for teaching is best there.
When a child is
delighted, you can teach them anything.
here to view piano games.