Experience these seven piano games for kids as a fun way to learn piano and music theory
Even the most incredible pianist will tell you that mastering basic piano skills is the key to becoming a better piano player. The best way to do it? Practice! At Hoffman Academy, we love to make practice fun, so we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite piano games for practicing.
Musical notes have their own alphabet, and understanding that alphabet is a crucial skill for all music students. It can take time to master this special alphabet because it should be memorized forwards and backwards, in steps and in skips! Alphabet Towers is one fun way to practice the musical alphabet in order, starting on any letter. It’s the only online note reading piano game available that we know of that focuses on this fundamental music skill. The game begins with practicing the musical alphabet in steps. Higher levels of the game challenge you to arrange the musical alphabet backwards and in skips.
Alphabet Ball Piano Game
Another one of our favorite piano games for kids is Musical Alphabet Ball. This piano game can be played with 2 or more players. Players sit on the floor either face-to-face (2 players) or in a circle (3+ players) with enough space between them to roll a ball. Players take a small ball and roll the ball to their partner, or to anyone in the circle, saying any letter in the musical alphabet. The next person says the next letter, rolling the ball either back to their partner or to someone else in the circle. Continue rolling and saying each letter, stepping up, in the musical alphabet. Then try stepping down, skipping up, and skipping down. This piano lesson game is a fun and challenging way of learning the musical alphabet.
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Even beginning students can learn music by ear, and there are many piano learning games out there that support ear training. Mystery Melodies is one of the piano games that does exactly that. You’ll hear a short musical phrase and then pick which of four written melodies was the one you just heard. It trains you to visually track notes on a staff and to recognize the way the shape of a written melodic line matches the sound. This is a great way to develop both ear training and identifying melody.
Earn Your Age
Looking for more fun piano learning games? Earn Your Age is a really fun piano playing game if you need to work on note accuracy and you’re motivated by cash (or snack!) prizes. First, pick a short section of a song to work on. We suggest about one line of music. Next, gather a pile of pennies, candies, dried beans (don’t eat those!), or other small objects. Play the piece of music. If you play the notes correctly with no mistakes, you win a penny! If you mess up even a single note, you lose a penny. Play the section over and over until you collect as many pennies as your age. When you do, you win!
Piano Games for Learning – Staff Crawler
When you’re sight reading a song you don’t have time to stop and think, “I wonder what note that is.” Get ready for fluent sight reading by playing Staff Crawler. You’ll click notes on a keyboard displayed on your screen to match notes written on a staff. Starting with a simple one-line staff, this piano game helps you learn to read notes by identifying steps, skips, and repeats. Then, when you’re ready, you’ll move on to reading the full staff. This is a perfect piano notes game for beginners!
Follow Along with Music
Another fun way to practice visually tracking notes is to listen to a piece of music while following along with the sheet music. Look at the notes on the page and compare them to what you’re hearing with your ears. Repeat phrases as often as you need until what’s written on the page makes sense with what your ears are hearing. This is one of the great piano games for car rides and summer travel! Get those headphones ready. You can get started with the Hoffman Academy listening albums and the sheet music in our printable materials, then branch out by finding the sheet music for your favorite songs and practice following along while you listen.
Are you interested in piano games for kids that make piano practice time more fun? Grab a partner and play “somebody’s watching.” For this game, choose a piano skill to focus on. For example, you could choose playing with a steady tempo, playing with fingers curved, or playing while sitting up straight at the piano. Find a favorite toy, such as a stuffed animal or action figure. As the piano student plays, their partner holds the toy where they can see that the toy is watching and dancing along to their music as they play. So long as the piano student is correctly doing whatever skill they’re focusing on, the toy will keep watching and dancing along to the music. If the piano student isn’t doing it correctly, the toy looks away. The goal is to keep the toy watching for the whole song. Teachers, if you’re looking for piano lesson games, this is a great one because it reinforces what you want your student to be working on in a fun and positive way.
Piano Games for Music Mastery
Forget boring memorization and endless drilling. Music games are the best way to help make learning fun (total bonus: they also help avoid frustration and burn-out). Try the music and piano games we’ve highlighted above, or get creative and dream up your own piano games for kids. The music and piano games listed above are ideal for beginning students and kids, but are also helpful for anyone interested in practicing their musical skills.