5 Exciting Games to Play With your Restless Student


Founder of Culciar School of Music

Picture this; You’ve arrived to your very first lesson with a 6 year old piano student. Things start off ok, but five minutes pass by, and you’ve lost them. They’re playing around with the dog, banging on the piano, they say they need to run to the bathroom, end up staying in there for 10 minutes, the parent tells them to hurry up, you resume the lesson, but 5 minutes later they start yawning and whining, sighing and crying…. I’d call that a disaster, wouldn’t you think?

The best way to master a young or restless student is to keep their attention. Easier said than done.. right? Wrong!


“A child’s mind is not a bucket to fill, but a fire to ignite.”

1. FABER – If you have a very young piano student, I suggest having the parents order the Faber Primer Level Piano Book. It is jam-packed with games, easy intro pieces, activities, and more.

I can’t exaggerate enough how useful and fun this book is for the very young and restless beginner piano student. One of the first pages requires the student to trace their hands, and number their fingers. Every student that has had this book LOVES tracing their hand. After that, the half-hour lesson you will have will fly by!


2. BEAT THE CLOCK – This game is free, gets your student up and moving, if not running, identifying patterns, learning keys on the piano, and releasing some energy.


Step 1: The student puts their finger on a paper with music notation, closes their eyes and moves their hand around, eventually stopping on a note.

Step 2: Whatever note their finger lands on, is the note that they will have to find on the piano.

Step 3: Say “Ready, Set, Go!” and start a timer on your phone. The student runs to one corner of the room and does three jumping jacks.. then to another corner and spins around three times, after which they run back to the piano.

Step 4: They then have to find the note they landed on all the way up and down the piano as fast as possible.

Step 5: Stop the timer once they reach the last note, and try again to beat their time with the SAME note, then start the all over again to choose another note from the page they first used.



“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible, and inconceivable.”


Ice Cream Interal Game

3. ICE CREAM INTERVAL GAME – This game is great to play when introducing intervals to your student.


How to play:

Step 1. Place the cones with intervals that you are working on or introducing, on the floor.

Step 2. Shuffle the ice cream scoops.

Step 3. The student needs to find the correct scoop of ice cream to place on top of the correct cone.

You can also time your student, once they have been working with all 8 cones, or at any point, you wish to give them a challenge.


You can purchase the Ice Cream Interval game HERE


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, life to everything.”


5. RHYTHM BINGO – We all know how to play bingo, and now you can play it with your students! This game is great for any instrument since it focuses strictly on rhythm.


How to play:

Step 1. Use the free custom bingo sheet and fill in the empty blocks by hand, or print the already filled in bingo sheet.

Step 2. Download and cut out rhythm cards. Use empty bingo sheet to print on colored paper and cut blocks out to use as bingo pieces.

Step 3. Play like regular bingo: teacher pulls from shuffled rhythm cards and plays on the piano, or claps the rhythm. The student must find that rhythm square and cover it.


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Rada Culciar

Teacher | Performer


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