We did it! Thanks to many long hours of work throughout the school year, my students musicianship binders have gone from being blank slates:
to well-checked, stickered and tallied records of all they’ve accomplished this year!
As a part our “This is Your Brain On Music” incentive program, students earned Cranium Coins for each of the musical goals and tasks they accomplished through the year, and added them to a tank in the studio. Our goal was to reach a total of 1,000 coins. It was fun to watch the tank fill up and count the coins each week!
The reward for completing our goal? An ice cream and game night party at the end of the school! (Well… actually 4 ice cream parties. I have enough students that there was no way we’d all fit in my house or be able to eat and play games together at once!)
Since we worked together as a studio to fill up the coin tank, I thought it was fitting that we all celebrate together. I’ve used a variety of rewards over the years (parties, trophies, medals, Easy Buttons, etc.) and ice cream and pizza parties seem to top the list as the kids’ favorites! After all of the hard work that goes into a year of music lessons, what’s better than a night of fun and goofing off at the studio? 🙂
After we finished our ice cream sundaes, the kids got to choose from a “menu” of games. Most of these are adaptable to a wide variety of levels, so they’re fun for studio parties, or group lessons that include a diverse group of kids. Here’s what we played:
Name That Tune
This just might be the quintessential music party game! I pulled several easy-level favorites and pop books off my shelf and let kids take turns sightreading melodies while their peers raced to guess the names of the songs. For a little extra fun, we used our set of Eggspert quiz buzzers to answer.
I had included this game on the list because I thought it would appeal to my younger students. I planned to use CD music as kids passed a ball around the circle, and tried not to be the one holding the “potato” when the music stopped. As luck would have it, though, my older kids LOVED to take turns improvising or playing memorized pieces at the piano to provide the music after they had been eliminated from the circle. I’m definitely going to remember this for next year’s performance classes (the stop-and-start nature of the game would be fantastic for practicing memorized pieces)!
I have a set of Jenga blocks that we use during the year for an interval game, and my students sometimes ask to play “real” Jenga. So, we did… but with a catch! Before students could take their turn removing a block, they had to correctly answer a flashcard (I kept several different levels of flashcard decks handy so I had appropriate levels for each player).
Grand Staff Twister
Twister is always a hit at group lessons, so it usually makes an appearance at the end of the year, too. This year we played Grand Staff Twister at the party; other years we’ve used other variations on a traditional Twister game.