Gamifying Music Lessons

I’ve been noticing that some of my piano students seem to be motivated by “passing” a piece in their books. I have had a lot of conversations immediately after a student plays through a piece that go something like this:

Student: “Did I pass it?? Please can I pass? PLEEEEASE???”

Me: “Do you think that you played it well enough that you don’t need to do more work on it?”

Student: (without pause to consider) “Yes! Please can I pass it?”

I’m not sure where this fixation on passing pieces came from, as I hadn’t been using that kind of approach in my teaching. Nevertheless, I have noticed this trend of students seeing each page of their books as a hurdle on the way to some future goal. They seem to be gamifying their own piano lesson experience. Continue reading