Welcome Kids and Keys readers to our first student/teacher co-review of a music education product! 10 yr old Kennedy liked playing the Musical Words board game so much that she wanted to tell other teachers all about it so they could use it with their students.
Musical Words was created by Gail Fischler. If you read The Piano Addict blog, you are familiar with this amazing teacher. Her game is great for not only piano students but students of other instruments as well! The game is highly suitable for group lessons, buy Kennedy and I wanted to find out if it would work in a private lesson.
Kennedy’s song of choice was Fur Elise. This was perfect since she has the song memorized already and she was able to put all her thoughts on interpreting the piece rather than trying to read notes (which she does well by the way).
Initially I did not fill in any of the blank spots on the game board. My thought process was, “What are the chances she will even land on one of those spots more than once?” Well, what actually happened was that Kennedy landed on a blank spot on EVERY turn. So, we cheated and had her move to one of the pre-marked spots the first 3 times this happened. Finally I had no choice but to think of some words to put in the blank spots! One of the words I came up with was “popcorn”. Kennedy had a terrific time with that one playing the whole thing in staccato! On a different turn she landed on the word “Mysterious”. This was pretty easy for her to do considering her song choice of Fur Elise. (I mean, who really knows who Elise was?) Another memorable moment in the game was when Kennedy landed on the word “comical”. She began to play Fur Elise with a range of different expressions and then added in some nonsensical chords that just didn’t go with the song at all. The result was indeed comical. She laughed and I laughed at her creative genius.
If you decide to play Musical Words with your students (and why wouldn’t you?), there is no need to be afraid of the blank spots. You can just hop over to The Musical Adjectives Project page for ideas or get some ideas from your students.
Here is what Kennedy said when I asked her about the experience:
“I like the choices, but popcorn was my favorite. Do I think other kids would enjoy playing this game? YES! Some words I would suggest are roughly and smoothly“.
Kennedy also said she thought there were too many blanks. I believe that is my fault and the next time I will definitely fill them in!
As a teacher I like the fact that this game pushes the student to COMMUNICATE musical ideas. This is an excellent tool for performance preparation as well as improvisation practice.
Ready to play? There are 2 ways to purchase Musical Words.
1)You have the option to purchase a set that is already laminated and printed with FREE Shipping in the Continental US from Fistful of Notes for $34 or Music Teachers Store. You get:
Laminated Game board with velcro fasteners (2 pcs)
Directions & Tips (2 sheets)
6 card stock game card sheets
1 master card sheet
Free Shipping within Continental US
2) You can purchase a download to print yourself from Music Teacher Store. Studio and family licenses are $14 or you can purchase a school license for $50. (If you choose this option I suggest you take your file to a copy and print center instead of printing at home due to the amount of ink necessary to print it. It uses LOTS of color.)
Gail has agreed to give one lucky winner a FREE download with a single teacher license ($14 value). To enter leave an adjective that you would use to fill in one of the blank spots on the game board in the comments. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014.