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Frazier Piano Studio

Music Is a Game

A game is a structured form of play


Music is a game. There are rules. It can be played by oneself or with others. What are the rules of the game?

To me, music is like a big puzzle. Whenever I hear a new piece of music, I start trying to put it together.

Is it similar to something I have heard before? How is it novel?

When I get stuck, is there something I don't understand about music that prevents me from putting it together?

Play is the work of childhood.

— Jean Piaget

My son loves to play the piano by ear. I try to make a fun game out of it. When we hear a new song or a cool movie theme, I ask if he can play the melody by ear. If that is easy, I then try to see how far I can push him.

Can you play it in another key?

Can you add chords to it?

What about these chords instead? I might throw in some spicy jazz chords. He either responds, 'No, Dad, that is too weird' or 'Cool, how did you do that?'

At some point, I reach a limit to what he is willing to put up with. The game either gets too hard, or he gets tired of it. Each time we play the game, he gets a little better.

Stay curious.

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