Gamer-based Music Education
What magic potion will make a kid participate with zeal in any activity? Parents know that all you have to do is make it into a game. Air Hockey, golf, bingo, bump it, tic tac toe, game shows and obstacle courses are all staples of my music program. We perform rhythms using basketballs and hula hoops, write melodies with a bean-bag toss, and create rhythms with ping pong balls and a bike wheel.
When trying to create the next music game, instead of looking to find a game to teach whatever music unit or concept you want to teach, try finding a game that the kids already love and turn it in to a music game. If you kids were playing Pokemon Go, then make monsters with musical symbols or rhythmic values and hide them around the room and make the students find them and check them off a list. If Minecraft is popular, use the building blocks of the game to illustrate and reinforce the number of beats in a quarter, half or whole note, etc. If Fortnight is the big thing with your students, then set up a cardboard zombie apocalypse with each zombie holding a musical note, call out the note name and have them throw a bean bag at the proper zombie- holding the right answer.
I was once heard a very hip, wise, veteran teacher say that “if you can’t value youth culture, then you have no business working with kids”, so value the silly gaming trends or popular sports and bring your music curriculum alive for your MVPs!