Louise, who wrote to me last week about the Musikopoly incentive, passed on an idea for a great listening game and gave me permission to share it here. This is a musical version of the game “Hunt the Thimble” (I’ve also heard this children’s game called “Hot and Cold”). Here is her description of how it is played:
“I had my dad make a small quaver note out of thin plywood about 8cms in height that I have sprayed silver, but a piece of cardboard covered in foil works as well. I use this game when working on pitch, dynamics or tempo. The pupil leaves the room while I hide the note somewhere in the room. When they re-enter they listen to the dynamic of my playing to guide them towards the hiding place of the note. As they get closer the dynamic gets louder and as they move away it gets quieter again. When they find the note we swap over and they have to guide me in the same way. I find it encourages listening skills and also the beginnings of techniques without them even really thinking about it. I also use this very successfully with groups.”
I played this with a beginning student at her lesson this morning, and she had a great time (in fact, she would have gladly played for her whole lesson instead of finishing up at the piano if I had let her!). Thank you, Louise for sharing this great idea!