Archive for November 11th, 2008


Do you remember making this little fortune game when you were a child? Read on to hear my practice brainstorm!

I was teaching at the Suzuki Kingston Institute in Canada last summer. I was assigned a very bright little 7 year old girl who was not only creative, but hyper and her own boss! After our first lesson, I knew I had to come up with an idea that would spike her interest as well as let her know I was in charge!

At the next lesson I asked her to play a piece that she had at the first lesson that I knew she could play well. Then I asked her if she could play it with her tongue sticking out. That really got her attention! She liked that idea very much and did it. Then I asked her if she could play the piece standing on one foot, kneeling on the floor, while whistling, etc. (I think you’ve go the idea) To my delight, I captured her attention for the entire lesson and she, her dad, the audience and I were laughing the whole time.

For her assignment, I told her that she had to come up with at least 3 bizarre things to do while she played the piece at the next lesson. During these lessons, little did I realize the creativity of her dad.What I didn’t know was this little girl loved making fortunes (the paper game in the photo) and spent much time playing with them. Her dad came up with the idea of having her create one for the next lesson of things she had to do while playing her piece for me.

The creative juices flowed and the little girl went to work, not only making the fortune, but also practicing with it to impress me! Needless to say, when she presented it to me at her next lesson she had mastered her piece and was able to perform it doing really crazy things. All the kids in the room wanted to try it! We laughed and had so much fun!

The next day, all the kids started making them. I still haven’t figured out how to fold the paper into a fortune, but I pass the good fortune of the game onto teachers and parents. To think, piano practice tips from a 7 year old and a very creative dad!


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