Dice like these dynamics dice (premium resource) are a fun way to keep home practice fresh. Keep all the dice for your level near the piano. Before playing a piece, roll one die and try playing the piece using that musical concept.
Here are some ideas for using the dynamics dice in your piano practice.
Roll the die. Write the symbol that comes up in large letters on a blank sheet of paper. Try playing a few notes on the piano in this volume. What animal, character, or object does this remind you of? Choose one, and explore the feeling of this sound and volume. What color and words describe it best? What is the story of this passage of music that explains why it is being played at that volume?
Write all of the words you thought of on the sheet. Use the color you chose to mark this dynamic in your music.
mp = mezzo piano, medium soft
Feeling in this piece: sweet and soft
What’s Happening: The cat is asking his owner for a treat.
Player rolls the dynamics dice. Listen to an exciting piece of music, such as a piece from The Nutcracker, or a soundtrack from a familiar movie. When you hear the dynamic you rolled, move as in the suggestions below, or come up with your own movement:
Forte (loud): Jumping jacks.
Mezzo Forte (medium loud): March and clap.
Mezzo Piano (medium soft): Pet an imaginary cat.
Piano (soft): Tiptoe with finger to lips in a “shh” motion.
Guess My Dynamic
Player 1 rolls the die, but does not let Player 2 see what dynamic was rolled. Next, Player 1 plays a section of their most recent piece in that dynamic. Player 2 guesses which dynamic they rolled.
Choose a piece of music you know well. For each line of the music, roll the dynamics dice. You can mark the dynamics you rolled on your music lightly in pencil, or use small sticky notes with the dynamics written on them. Try playing the piece with the dynamics you rolled. Did you like the way it sounded with these dynamics? Play this game a few times and talk with your practice partner about how the feeling of the song changes when the dynamics change.
What other fun ideas do you have? Share in the comments below.