Playing music games during online lessons is a wonderful way to inject a little fun! While you may not be in person, you can use games you already have along with new online options.
Which games work best?
Some games work better online & others are best left for in-person lessons. So, what makes a game a perfect choice?
Playing music games during online lessons requires:
- Easy-to-see images: game board, cards, etc.
- Way to show progress in the game
- Easy-to-follow instructions
- Gameplay that bypasses the audio restrictions on Zoom
Miss any of these & the game goes from fun to frustrating very quickly.
Music games during online lessons (4 tips)
Here are my top 4 tips to make this part of your online lessons a success!
1. Be relevant
Know exactly what you want your student to practice in the game. Even better when it links directly to something your student is doing in that lesson.
For example, Sally is learning a new piece. There are some notes that are new to her & she needs extra practice to make sure these are solid before going home to practice. Choosing a game that reviews both notes she knows & the new notes is a great option! After playing a note-reading game, super-charge Sally’s learning by going back to the new piece & finding those new notes.
2. Make it easy
Choose a game that has easy instructions & tech set-up. You want games to be quick, not a 10-minute set-up.
Let’s go back to Sally. You know she has her cell phone close by during lesson time. Ask Sally to grab her cell phone while you get Note-Wordy set-up on your device. By the time she gets back, you’re typing in the link & code that she will use to access the game-board. In minutes, Sally has clicked on the link & entered the code. You are both ready to play!
3. Keep it short
One of the challenges of online lessons is that activities can take much longer. This isn’t the case with playing games. As long as you follow tips #1 & #2, you can get to playing much faster.
Use games for review, but all use them as brain breaks!
Perhaps Sally had been getting a little frustrated with her new piece. Those new notes were wreaking havoc on her ability to play fluidly. Taking a quick brain break that approaches the problem from a new direction keeps her motivation much higher. Once she has had that extra review, going back to the original song means the circle is complete (at least for that lesson).
4. Use the technology you have
There is no need to jump through hoops in order to play music games during online lessons. Take a look at the technology you are currently using.
If you are on Zoom, using the screen-share & annotation features are a must. Place a digital copy of your game-board as a screen-share. Annotation allows you & your student to easily move your “game pieces”. Holding the game card close to your webcam means the student can see it, so long as there isn’t too much information on the game card.
For game cards that have a lot of information, using a program that lets you split your screen & change the size of the different windows makes things much easier.
Or, you can use something that is already online & set up for online lessons!
Want online games?
You may be thinking, “I don’t want to fiddle with screen-share & annotation. I want something that has done all the hard work for me.” No worries!
Keys to Imagination has a series of online games that are set up for individual & group lessons. Choose the game that covers the skill & level you want, send the link/code & start playing immediately in lessons. Plus, this link gets you access to all the online games.
Did we miss something? What tips or tricks do you have for playing music games during online lessons?