Piano Party Ideas
Megan W., Washington
I’ve been teaching for 2 years now and I realized one of the most
common searches I do on the intranet is for games and ideas for my
twice yearly Piano Parties (aka Really fun recitals).
I’ve come up with some new ones and I thought I would share in case
any of you are also looking for ideas to use.
Quad Single Double game. -In my studio I have only about 7-12
students at any one time and we all (including me) have at least 4
kids. So there are lots of little kids at the piano parties. In this
game I made some Very LARGE Q, S and D’s. I have the little kids take
turns drawing out a Q, S or D from a hat and then we tape it to my
white board. I have the students teach the parents how to clap to the
Quad, singles or doubles just like in the reading rhythm program. And
then we all clap the rhythm in the order set out by the siblings.
Some get it, some don’t but it is lots of fun. We also try and do it
as fast as possible etc.
Guess the Student: I come up with a fact printed on a piece of paper
that describes each student. Such as. “This student has 5 brothers”
or “This student had a birthday last week” Everyone guesses which
student it is, then that student goes up and plays their song
The Little Piggy Story and Song improvisation. I start off a story.
Like “Once upon a time there was a fat little piggy who was walking
through the woods. At that point I would sit down and improvise some
music. Then the next person would tell a bit more of the store based
on the mood of the music that I created. Then they would
play/improvise something and the next person would continue the store.
Complimentary Piano Solos- As each student goes up to play their
song, each family in attendance has to come up with a word to describe
that student and then they write it on a white board or paper. When
the student is done playing their song everyone tells what their
“complimentary” word is. This works well for shy students because
they feel like everybody isn’t staring at them while they play.
The Wierd Game- My students love this game and even the grownups
laughed and laughed. I came up with a whole list of different ways to
play a song. I would announce a song and ask for volunteers to play
it. I would choose a student (making sure they all get a turn if they
wanted one) and then the student would draw out a paper that would
tell them how to play that particular song.
Play it with your toes (sanitize after wards lol)
Play it with your nose
Play it facing backyards
Put a parents hands on the keyboard and you press their fingers to play the song
have your Right hand play the left hand notes and the left hand play
the right hand notes.
Play it as fast as you can
choose a partner to play the left hand side while you play the right hand side.
Play it with mittens on
Play it blind folded
Jeff O., Massachusetts
Name That Diagram!
Copy the diagrams without the titles. Whoever can identify the song gets to play it, or gets a point, or a donut hole…
Lynn S., Illinois
I’ve just been teaching one year with Simply Music,
and haven’t had a “piano party” yet… But we’ve done
a few games that students like.
These include — “Name That Tune” — students have to close
their eyes while another student plays a portion of a piece.
Whoever raises their hand first and correctly names the song
gets a point. (You can go up to a certain number of points
for a winner.)
Musical chairs (freeze) — A student picks a card with the name
of a song, and starts playing. Whenever I call “freeze,” the next
person has to step in and start playing from that point in the
Karina S., California
I started a piano party a couple of times with the “Singing Circle” which I learned from Gordon Harvey at the San Diego Symposium. It helps to break the ice and get some of those butterflies out for both the kids and adults and is great fun. I think Gordon would explain much better than I could but simply get into a circle and hold hands ( I think we held hands in San Diego) and then you start with a pitch and/or rhythm beat and then everyone joins in when they’re ready with their own “pattern” while you as the leader guide the circle with your own voice. Others will instinctively follow and when you’re ready to come to your cadence and “close your window” you gently bring the singing/beat to a close.
Gordon, you should probably chime in here…it’s Friday morning after a busy week and I’m a bit foggy!
Another FUN thing I did at my last piano party was the Blues round robin which we also did at the Symposium. I had everyone line up in two lines for RH/LH and we played the 12 bar blues for at least 8 bars each while moving around. I had a sax player and I also played guitar, my son was on drums – it was really fun!