I love games. As soon as you land on my blog you’ll see tons of free piano teaching games that I share here and use in my studio. Games make learning FUN, which I believe is a very serious business.
In fact, I even have a whole library dedicated to teaching music effectively using games.
I have a lot of games in my studio. All have their merits, but some of them stand out. These are the free piano teaching games that I return to again and again.
These piano teaching games are the ones that save lessons with sleepy or grumpy students. Keep these in your toolkit and you’ll have more fun in all your piano lessons.
Especially those lessons which aren’t going quite as planned… 😉
Note: This post was originally published in July 2017 and update in July 2019.
1. Symbol Splash
I created Symbol Splash last September and I love it because it can be used so easily with students of different levels.
There are four levels of the game cards – and the best part is that students can play together while using different levels of the cards. Perfect for mixed group lessons or a quick review in a private lesson.
2. Finger Twister
This is my favourite game for the first few lessons with any new student. Even tween and teen beginners have happily played this game.
For preschoolers, we play by just placing the correct finger on the spot, one by one. Older students can play like the full twister game. Every student loves to spin the spinner!
3. Musical Alphabet Blocks
These musical alphabet blocks are the newest of the free piano teaching games that have made it onto this list. But they definitely deserve their spot in this top 9.
These blocks have already earned their keep for sure.
So far, I have used these to review scales, drill the music alphabet with preschoolers and build chords with teens. I think the idea to have the black and white matching the piano keys is just brilliant – shout out to Mrs Miracle’s Music Room again for the idea.
4. Piano Puzzle
The piano puzzle cards is one of my most popular posts of all time. No wonder! I think many piano students have trouble relating the notes on the staff directly to the piano keys.
These tiny foam backed cards make it so simple. Plus the time log sheet can build a healthy competition within your studio. Flashcards have never been so fun. 🙂
5. Don’t Leaf Me!
Don’t Leaf Me! is a firm favourite with Vibrant Music Teaching members. It’s so handy because, like Symbol Splash above, it can be used with multiple levels of students.
This one is fantastic for group lessons and for overlapping time between siblings. The kids love the “lucky rake” twist!
6. Relative Rhythms
The relative rhythm cards come out every day in my studio. They can be adapted for dictation, composition or simply used to demonstrate a new note value.
The direct relationship helps children to understand the relative nature of our note value system. This leads to a deeper and more reliable understanding of rhythms. Plus it’s really fun too.
7. Landmark Landmines
If you teach using a landmark and interval note system, those landmark notes really need to be reviewed over and over. Which is why I have several games I use to check in with these notes regularly.
Landmark Landmines is my (and my students’) favourite landmark note game. The “exploding” spots on the game board have lead to many fits of giggles at the Colourful Keys Piano Studio.
8. Staff Clothes Peg Match-up
This grand staff game from Susan Paradis is fantastic for several reasons. First, because it’s fun, colourful and young piano beginners love it.
But more fantastic still – is that the clothes pegs also improve finger dexterity. The kids don’t even know that they’re working on technique while playing a game. 🙂
Now that’s what I call a well-planned piano teaching game.
9. Aural Training Paddles
These ear-training paddles are one of the first freebies I ever posted on my site! It’s crazy to think how long I’ve been using them at this stage – but they still come out all the time.
(Plus they do have a bit of sentimental value to me too now that I’m well over 200 posts into my blogging.)
I especially like that I can make these into a wiggle break by having my student hold their card high up in the air (or jump up towards the sky!) when they have the answer – and sit down when they’re still thinking.
Get the wiggles out and do some aural training at the same time. Win, win.
Do you need more high-quality piano teaching games?
You’ll find them in my fabulous Vibrant Music Teaching membership site. This is THE place to be if you want to teach using games in a way that’s effective and doesn’t require you to put in a ton of planning time.
Perfect if you’re looking to reinforce something in particular. Find out more about the membership and everything that’s included here.
16 thoughts on “Top 9 Absolutely Essential Free Piano Teaching Games”
I can’t wait to try out some more of these games. I’ve already tried symbol splash and it’s been fun. Thanks so much for sharing!!
Thank you Nicola for sharing your brilliant ideas! It’s the beginning of our school year and I can’t wait to try these!
You’re welcome Marita!
These are fantastic! Thank you for sharing!!
Just wondering how you store/organize all your games?
You can find out about that in this post Susan: https://colourfulkeys.ie/store-organise-piano-teaching-games/
Such a highlight of my week to read these articles! You’re amazing!
Why thank you Greta!
It says free, but I don’t see where I can download these. Help please!
Exactly! I can not download anything, so it doesn’t seem to be “free”, right? 🙁
You need to click on the link to the game you want. That will take you to the post where you can download it for free.
Hi my name is Annabelle and I’m just 10 and I don’t know where the links are and I’m not allowed to download anything♀️?
The links are with each heading – are you getting an error or had you just missed seeing them?
Gemma – Colourful Keys Assistant
So cool, they’re not all free 🙁
Thanks for sharing!
How do you play the games when you’re only teaching online to one student at a time? Thanks!
Unfortunately those games don’t have an online version. I recommend you to check vibrantmusicteaching.com. We have over 350 games, courses and training videos and the majority of the games have a google slides version that is perfect for online teaching. We also have a tutorial on how to create your own digital version of games, so you can adapt everything for your online lessons.