Music lessons can seem boring if they aren’t approached in the right way. One method to keeping kids engaged in learning music or an instrument is through fun music games. Take an interest area of the child, such as the Women’s Fifa World Cup, and turn it into a game that reviews and reinforces concepts they are learning.
If it’s intimidating to make your own game there are many to be had online. They have all different themes and difficulty levels. So it’s a matter of finding what you are looking for. Right now many people around the world are watching the Women’s Fifa World Cup. So why not turn such a fun international competition into a music game? That’s exactly what I did. If you want a fun football (soccer) game for free keep reading.
Importance of Fun During Lessons
Kids today are all about fun and entertainment. Now there is a time for serious, hard core work, but piano lessons (or any other type of music lessons) isn’t one of them. Music and piano lessons should be kept light-hearted and fun or kids will likely lose interest and quickly.
Fun Boosts Engagement
During a lesson, books or set lesson plans should be followed in order to successfully teach a child to play an instrument. However, it’s okay to stop a lesson a little short to play some fun music games at the piano.
When kids are allowed to have fun at the piano or whatever instrument, they are more likely to remember what they have learned. They will become more engaged in the lesson and desire to learn even more.
Fun Fosters Relationship Connections
Another reason for keeping the lessons fun is connection. It’s easier to connect when your child is enjoying what they are doing. It will lessen the frustrations that can come with trying to introduce your kids to new things.
When kids get bored they tend to get whiny and check out. Then it’s like trying to teach a brick wall something. How’s that working out? Not well. Trust me, I’ve been there.
For my own kids when things are kept fun they seem to do much better. I can usually tell when they are just going through the motions and aren’t enjoying the process very much so having a break where they can practice their skills in a fun way is ideal. Whether we get up off the piano bench for a dance party or play piano games, it gives them a break and a way to engage.
So don’t be afraid to find something they enjoy and make a music game out of it or find something on the internet you can download and print.
Women’s Fifa World Cup 2019
You might be wondering what the Women’s Fifa World Cup has to do with music and rightly so. It’s not a standard topic among music teacher’s but its a great platform for incorporating some good ole learning fun into your music lessons. The Women’s Fifa World Cup is currently going on in France with 24 countries competing in a football showdown to be crowned the champion.
I have a little Fifa inspired game to share with you but before I get to that I’d like to give you a bit of background on the world cup, just in case you aren’t into football (aka soccer) much. The Women’s Fifa World Cup takes place on the global stage every four years.
The 24 teams accepted into the tournament are placed into a group of four teams. They play each team in their group. The top two teams advance to the next stage of the tournament while the top four 3rd place finishers advance as well. The next stage is the knockout phase where they begin single elimination style play until a champion is crowned.
I never was into football much until my own kids became interested in the sport. When that happened I began following it and understanding the rules more so when the world cup came up this summer it was a must watch in our house. We have missed a few games, but have really enjoyed following what was happening. So naturally, since we love football around here it was a no brainer to make a game centered around the Women’s Fifa World Cup 2019.
Women’s Fifa World Cup Music Game for Kids
As we have watched the Women’s Fifa World Cup play out, I have paid more attention to the musical aspect of the game. No, not directly on the field, but everywhere else.
One of those places is the national anthems preceding each match. It’s amazing to hear the subtle similarities and differences in them. This gave me the idea to create a game centered around the World Cup.
Although, at this point I couldn’t find a great way to incorporate the national anthems of each country into a game, making a Women’s Fifa World Cup inspired game did happen. When I created this game I naturally tested it out on my kids and they really liked it. The play is relatively quick and competitive. It is played using a soccer pitch with a war-like game feel by naming the note (pitch). Hence the title Pitch Perfect Football Game.
Pitch Perfect Football Game Play
Pitch Perfect Football is played by passing the ball up and down the soccer pitch in order to score goals. In order to successfully complete passes, though, the person with possession of the ball must beat their opponent at naming a note on the staff.
A note is revealed by turning over flashcards one at a time. If your child isn’t reading off the staff yet you can use music symbols, note type names, or whatever you would like them to review. If you need music note flashcards check out my post “Music Note Flashcards Printable” for a free downloadable file. Feel free to print whatever your child knows, you don’t have to use all them. To play Pitch Perfect Football I’d recommend printing at least 2 sets, if not more, of the notes your child knows.
If they win the challenge of naming the note they get to advance the ball down the field. If they lose the challenge their opponent gets the ball. In order to win a person must score five goals first or set a time limit and the one with the most goals when time is up wins.
Pitch Perfect Football is available via a free download. It can be played anytime you need fun music games for piano, flute, general music, or any instrument. If you want to incorporate the Women’s Fifa World Cup 2019 into your game just print the team flags and let each person select their country to represent. All 24 country’s flags are available in the download for the game. However, it can be played with or without the flags. They are just an added bonus.
Incorporating Fun Music Games Into Lessons
Finding ways if incorporating fun music games like Pitch Perfect Football into lessons is the next step. There are a few ways to do this. You can incorporate games into each lesson, make them a prize following a few good lessons, or even use them as part of group lessons.
Incorporating Games Into Each Lesson
If you choose to keep games as a part of each lesson just be sure to work it into lesson time efficiently. Make lesson plans in order to cover the material needed. If the child does amazing at listening and being attentive, reward them with a brief game at the end. The beauty of being your kids’ teacher is you can stretch their lesson a little long if you so choose.
Another way of incorporating piano learning games or music games in general into a lesson is by using them in the middle. After reviewing the material the child was working on the past week, use a game to review the concepts they just learned prior to moving on in their lesson book.
For instance, if you are using Pitch Perfect Football based on the Women’s Fifa World Cup get it out after your child has been working on new notes on the staff. Challenge them to a quick game with a two or three-minute time limit. Reward them if they beat you. Praise them no matter how they do though to encourage them to continue working on their notes. After the game, continue on with new materials out of their books.
Using Fun Music Games as a Reward
Playing a game after a few weeks of solid progress is a great way to reward the child. Maybe you don’t have time to play a game every week. Then set goals for practice and progress in the books. If your child meets them, take the next lesson to play games instead of learning new things or at least cut back on how much you assign to make time for the fun music games.
You might be thinking this is counterintuitive, why would I lose valuable time I could be teaching a new concept? Or, isn’t it important to continue through the books at a quick pace? You do need to continue making progress or your child will lose interest, but remember, if the lesson isn’t fun they will lose interest regardless. So taking a break to play will keep the lessons engaging. Besides, most music games for kids reinforce what is being taught during lessons.
Group lessons are another great way to use music games to reinforce concepts and have fun in lessons. A group lesson is just what it sounds, a lesson given to a group of kids rather than an individual.
They differ from regular lessons in a few ways. A group lesson doesn’t use method books. It consists of some games or activities reviewing concepts from individual lessons as well as performances.
When I hold group lessons we start by playing some games. This would be a great time to use the Fifa Women’s World Cup game. Make a tournament or print a couple of them off. As kids arrive they can play each other. Playing with a time limit will allow you to move on with the lesson when you need to. Following games, I have the kids play a song or two for each other. To end we have a snack and play some more games. Sometimes I throw in a craft if there is time as well, but games play a primary role in group lessons.
Adapting Piano Learning Games for Other Instruments
Pitch Perfect Football isn’t just for kids learning to play the piano. Yes, it is a great way to keep piano lessons fun and reinforce note recognition, but it is valuable no matter what type of music lessons your child is taking.
Each instrument has a different range. A flute, for example, plays in the treble clef. So, in this case, you wouldn’t see notes from the bass clef, but would likely use cards with the high ledger line notes. On the other hand, when playing it for general music lessons you would use bass and treble clef but would likely not use much of the ledger line notes, depending on the level of the kids.
Don’t be afraid to use it in any music setting for added fun.
Keeping lessons fun is extremely important. The goal is for learning to take place and kids will learn better if they are engaged. So playing fun music games for kids is a must. Find things they are interested in like the Women’s Fifa World Cup or any other activity. Make a game from it or find one online.