The Power Of "Game Play " in Music Lessons
How my music school grew from 6 to over 200 students in under two years.
When my husband and I started our music school – everyone around us thought it couldn’t be done. It really hadn’t been done in our home town much and no one we knew had ever quit their day job as a teacher to go and run their own music school business. we weighed up the pros and cons of it all and decided after it all that it was a challenge that we wanted to pursue. So we went ahead and before we knew it we leased a commercial premise, found ourselves a program and we were on our first opening day ready a raring to go!
Our first term was tough – we enrolled thirty students and half of them quit within a few weeks. We couldn’t work it out – here we were fully established, credible teachers and it wasn’t working. What were we doing wrong?
We could no longer think the same as we previously did in working in schools and operate the same teaching methods because they were not working. Something we were doing was not right and we had to find out what it was quickly.
We talked to our six families that we had on board and any families which came through our doors. We asked them all the one simple question:
"What is it that you would like to get out of have music lessons for your child?"
With this question we found out some very important information. Because our parents were doing this in their free time with their children, it had to be FUN. A parent didn’t want to pay for lessons if it was all too hard or if their child didn’t enjoy it and they definitely didn’t want to bring their children because it was good for them.
The other observation we made was that if a parent enjoyed lessons, then their child would as well. The parent didn’t even have to be in the room, but when a parent asked their child how their day was and what happened in music, if their child was excited about it, it would in turn make the parent excited as well. It had to be fun for both child and parent.
With this information, we started implementing different ideas. The children would tell us that they enjoyed playing games and so we took this to the next level. In fact everything in our music sessions became a game of some description.
Teachers never had a chance to sit down in our school – they were too busy having fun and playing games. Notes would be learnt with stories and note races, kids would be running up to the piano with special cues, games were played learning pieces – even aural activities were a game.
In general the place became a bustling games area! …. And the other thing that started happening was that we were suddenly growing out of control. We only had a small music school premises, but suddenly there was no room left in the car park, in the hallways and parents wanted to start learning in this method as well in our lunch hour!….many had told us that MUSIC HAD NEVER BEEN SO MUCH FUN! On top of this, our older students started achieving the highest exam results we had ever seen…
So what changed?
All we did was come up with strategies in playing games. Basically we came up with literally thousands of games ideas and on a lesson to lesson basis and for two years we tested them, made them work and we taught them to our staff members and students. The spin off effect was that students started remembering more…and therefore achieved higher grades.
In essence this is what the FUN music company is about. We no longer have time to teach anymore because we are too busy packaging the ideas we have been using in our years as music teachers. It is impossible to be a teacher and to keep coming up with more and more ideas without an end in sight.
So now we are ready to share these ideas with others.. so that they don’t need to be spending years getting it right. Our passion is to make music learning fun and easy for everyone at the click of a button – not just for those in our home town, but to share it around the world and increase the enjoyment of music for everyone.
Putting it into practice
To show you what we mean about the power of gameplay, we are pleased to be able to share with you a sample game from our Printable Music Games product.