Useful Websites

The Practice Shoppe  This site contains numerous free downloads.  There are games, song specific charts and repetition sheets galore.

eMusic Theory  A site with “free music theory drills.”  There are matching games for strings finger position/pitch name; naming notes on a staff, or grand staff; rhythm performance and more.

Blank Sheet Music   Here one can design and print your own staff paper.  Change the number and kind of staves on the page, the clef, key and time signature before printing. Free

MES English  A fantastic collection of free game boards with and without printable cards.  These can be readapted for music lessons.  Free

Classics for Kids  Interactive games for pitch ID on the staff, rhythm recognition, composers, and the ability to compose and hear one's own music in a appealing presentation. Free

Paper, pencils, stickers, etc

Paper and Pencils are always to hand and can easily be used to make up a game.  Here are some ideas:

Using these codes you can quickly scan through the following games to find a suggested game for your particular need.

= general games

= listening games

T = especially for Pre-Twinks and Twinklers  

= review games

X = repetition games

T  Draw a name:  Write the piece names on pieces of paper. Put in a hat and draw to determine piece to play and order.  Or put practice item on paper (bow holds, scales, etc.)

T  Silly Cards:  Make cards of silly things to do while playing a song, or chunk.  For example: stand on one foot, stick out your tongue, sing the piece, play pizzicato.

TX∞  Progress chart:  Child identifies EACH day's progress with chart/stickers.  Find something no matter how small or large.  It is important to include skills not just pieces.  Playing a piece is not necessarily an indication of progress.  Being able to play something that one couldn’t do before IS progress.

T∞  Envelopes: Child opens an envelop or folded paper.  Papers may contain a piece, and directions to location of next envelop.  It might contain a silly position/location for the next song to be played.  What can you invent?

T  Envelopes 2:  Have a small bird sitting on the table, who can’t find her nest.  Put various items, or pictures of items in envelopes.  After each practice task the child looks for the nest by opening one envelop.  The practice continues until the nest is found.

T Mystery drawing:  For each element of practice or repetition completed draw another line of the mystery drawing and the child guesses what the drawing is.  If they don't guess correctly, they play again and you draw a new line.  Game is over when they guess what you are drawing.  Kids love this.  Don't say you can't draw.  If you can't, it makes the game all that much more fun.

TX  Hangman:  For each task. repetition completed add another letter to the word or phrase.  Obviously the child needs to be reading to play this game.

TX  Make scoreboards:  This is a favorite of mine as it is so easy and kids love it. On paper make a simple score board:  Label one side, “Tommy’s brain” and the other side the offending part, ie: “C#,” or “bent bow thumb.” For each repetition either the child's brain or the offending gets a point.  Who wins?  Stress the idea that the brain can control the wrong note, incorrect position, whatever.

T  Spell name:  For every task completed, the student earns another block or index card with a letter of his/her name. You can hand out the blocks in order for very young students, or out of order for more of a challenge. The game is over when the entire name is spelled correctly!  To vary the length of  practice you could include pet names, last names, etc.

TX  Create a Paper chain to loop around the practice area.  It could be for: repetitions of certain spots; each review song played; each time a particular song, or the whole CD is heard; for each practice session; or each time the newest songs are played.  Use your creativity.

X  Compose a song: for every task completed, the student may draw one more note on some staff paper. (A note should equal at least 3 repetitions, not just one.)  Play the song at the end of practice.  One can easily download blank staff paper from Google.

TX  Removable Stickers:  Draw circles on paper and write the name of one task or review piece on each circle. Cover each with a reusable sticker and have the student remove a sticker to discover a task. Hint:  If Lightly Row needs work, you can "hide" it under multiple circles!

TX  Permanent Stickers: Draw circles on paper and write the name of one task or review piece on each circle. Cover each task with a sticker as it is accomplished.   Put more challenging task in more than once.

TX∞  Sticker Pyramid:  Start with playing a difficult passage one time correctly. Put a sticker at the top of the pyramid. Once the passage is played 2 times in a row correctly, put 2 stickers underneath. 3 times, 3 stickers....up to 10 stickers or more! Can also write X's or circles on paper instead of stickers.

TX  Finish the drawing:  Draw a tree without leaves, or a pot and stems without flowers. For each task the student completes, he/she gets to draw a piece of the picture! You can make different pictures (barn without animals, cat without face, spider without legs, etc.)

T   Spinner: Create a spinner and write tasks or review pieces for each direction. You can also do this with index cards and an empty bottle (spin the bottle.)

TX  Scissors and Paper:  Take a large piece of paper, perhaps as large as a piece of newspaper and have your child fold it in half.  Don’t tell them why.  Continuing folding it in half until it can’t be folded any longer.  Open it up.  Grab a pair of scissors, as the object is to destroy this piece of paper.  Begin playing repetitions.  Cut out one of the folded areas for each repetition. (Thanks to Philip Johnson)

X More scissors and paper:  Cut out a section of a piece that is being worked on, or a song that is being listened to.  Put it on a paper that has been divided into 100 sections (or some other number.)  For each repetition, mark off a box.

  Listening Ears Chart:  Each time the song is listened to, cross off one set of ears.  (Chart found in the Downloads section.)

T List the items that need to be practiced a particular week on paper and put them into a container.  As the student practices he draws out an assignment and completes it.  Then the next one is drawn.  This enables to student to feel that they are more in charge of practice than if the parent is commanding the order by saying, “Now we’ll do this!”