Games are never out of season in Suzuki violin practice. The games below are fun and you can schedule as a part of your daily practice with your child. If you are a teacher you can also pick one of the ideas and plan a group activity around it.
Here are some ideas. You can also look into our Suzuki teacher page for ready group class activities and Suzuki games.
Treasure Music Hunts
Tape a small piece of paper on the back of a candy with different pieces or exercised you child is expected to practice. The paper may give your child challenges such as Play Twinkle twice with a straight bow, Fix your best bow hold and show it to dad, etc.
- Hide the “treasures” in different places around the house
- Have your child to go around the house and search for the treasures. They can move on to search for the next only if they have completed each music challenge on the piece of paper.
If you need ready Suzuki practice task cards for your treasure hunt game, check them out here!
To make the game more fun:
- Put the first one in their violin case and start the search there. It will help make them “open their instruments”.
- If you are used to practice in the mornings, have your child find a “treasure” the first thing they wake up and spend the morning looking for the rest. The treasures could be hidden from the bed to the kitchen table leading the way to breakfast!
- If your child practices in the evening, then put the first assignment right next to their desert on the table. Then pout one right next to the sink (perhaps asking them to wash their dish) then have your child search until they eventually end up in their bed.
- You could surprise your child by putting a treat in their case without telling them. Have them figure out the “rules of the game” by leaving small hints.
Practice Flash Cards for Review
Having Suzuki violin cards for review can be very handy and the kids love playing with them!
Review of old pieces is very important in Suzuki education. We all have to be creative I have had a great success using flash cards to ensure more review.
Young children like repetition. They LOVE it when they have a choice in it.
Simply have cards available at the end of each practice session. Ask your child to pick a card for review. Whatever card they pick, this is what they get to finish the practice lesson with. Use the same game as you feel your child may be loosing focus in their practice.
Where to find cute practice cards for review?
Start looking at the links below:
If you are an international reader and you need cards in different languages check these:
Practice Cards in Simplified Chinese
Instrument Case Treasure
Put a small “treasure” inside or next to your child’s violin case each morning. The treasure could be a note of appreciation to your child, a favorite toy, a music recording, a piece of candy, etc. Tell your child that every day they wake up, they need to go and see what treasure might be hidden in their case. Then tell them that they need to “appreciate their instrument back” by playing something. Give them a small and very specific assignment they need to do when they find what’s inside the case (one review piece, a scale, few bow holds, etc.).
Keep in Mind: Keep the game fun! Don’t turn it into bribery! Never say if…then I will…Read more about playing games without conditioning your child in this article.
Be Patient: Stay positive even if you don’t see results right away. Sometimes children do not reach their goal simply because of lack of patience in the expectations.
Remember: Stick with the rules! If you have asked you child to play one piece, then expect to hear only one piece! Don’t be impatient by demanding more and changing the rules that you have set for your child! If you have a reluctant learner, the more you demand, the less they would want to do it. Less is more in this case.
Result: If you have done this game for awhile, your child will start opening their case and playing a bit each morning simply because you have helped them developed the habit of doing it!
The Lion King
You may love this fun game for Suzuki practice. It is a ready product to download and use. You can use for any instrument or level of playing. The game is picture cards where the child gets to “help Simba” of Lion King through completing certain tasks. The more they practice, the faster they get to help Simba. You can check out the game here.
Themed Suzuki Violin Review Cards and Games:
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36 flashcards in all!
Large Print and measure 3'' x 2'' cards.
Compilation of charts, toys, illustrations, and games which may be cut from the book and used. Geared to parents and teachers of Suzuki violin, and for other instruments as well. (100 pp, spiralbound)
Dr. Suzuki said, "Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill." That's a lot of repetition! How can you do this while still keeping it fresh and fun?As a Suzuki viola and violin teacher, I get asked those questions a lot! So I started writing ideas, thoughts and strategies down for these books. This volume is about taking well known games and puzzles and making them into Suzuki practice strategies. They include: How to make musical fortune-tellers, play chess on the violin, crack musical cryptograms from Scrabble, Review Jenga, Practice Bingo, Stringman, Pre-Twinkler CandyLand and more!I use these games for my violin and viola students, but they will work for just about any Suzuki instrument. The games in this volume range from Pre-Twinkle through Book 4.My aim and wish is to help make your practice habit one that is based in positivity, kindness, creativity and fun. These games have made practice enjoyable for my students and I hope they will for you as well. Happy practicing!