A practice game to make repetition fun

finger number bingo practice game from DIdsbury Piano Manchester
Here’s how I use a fun game with a beginner teaching piece that really reaps its rewards through repetition. 

The piece: Zebra on a Playground
This is a beginner improv/technique piece from Piano Safari repertoire book level 1.

Piano safari level 1 Beginner piano lessons in Didsbury Manchester

The goal: strengthen the nail joint on every finger and cement keyboard geography.

How: Play the piece with a different finger each time.

So what’s the problem?

News flash – Your average 6-10 year old doesn’t actually care about honing their technique. They just want to flip that page and see what’s next.

The solution:  Gamify!

If we are going to get kids to repeat stuff it’s got to be fun.  So we need to see the world through their eyes.
A smidge of competition? Even better.
The thought of beating their teacher or parent? Now we’re talking!

The game: finger number bingo

For this game I use finger number bingo card boards, available free from Susan Paradis’ website. Cut up an extra set of boards to use for the draw pile.  Gather some coins, buttons or whatever you like to use as bingo chips. 

finger number bingo Susan Paradis
 Instructions for play
  1. Teacher/parent: select a finger card from the draw pile.  Use your best bingo caller voice to add to the drama!

  2. Pupil: identify hand and finger number and then play Zebra on a Playground with that finger before marking off your bingo card. 

Play against the teacher/parent or a lesson partner.
Race to see who will be the first to get a line. 4 corners? How about a Full House?!

It doesn’t need to take more than a few minutes. Set a timer for a bit of pace and focus if you like.

Now instead of moaning about repetition, children will groan if you call out a finger number that’s NOT on their card!

Something  I am always striving for is this: Don’t teach boringly. Find the spark!

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