~ “Repetition is the mother of all learning” ~
… and yet, repetition can be one of the quickest and most un-enchanting ways to bore our students. Phrases like “play it again”, “let’s do flashcards”, and “one more time” become the core of our teaching as we slip into the familiar and monotony of the everyday. Can you feel the boredom? Students are bored. Teachers are bored. And we slog through each day hoping to repeat to the point of true knowledge.
BUT the title of this page isn’t repetition. The title is game-based learning. And my hope is that today I can give you enough of a glimpse of a different way that you won’t wait till tomorrow to make some changes!
So what is game-based learning?
~ Students are working towards a goal, with the freedom to fail and try again.
~ Students are constantly practicing the correct way to do things.
~ Teachers are creating an environment where learning is enjoyed.
~ Teachers are creating space for active learning, not just passive learning!
~ All of this is happening while playing games together!
Have I piqued your interest? Games offer a fresh face to the old adage of “do it again”. Your students must learn the concepts correctly in order to win the game. Motivation at its finest! Wiggly students are free to move, calm students can get excited, and teachers and students build relationships that last a lifetime and extend farther than just the piano bench.
Game-based learning is the fun that your studio has been craving. When your students are having fun, learning happens faster. When learning happens faster, retention rates are higher. Happy students = happy parents = happy teachers!
If none of this has convinced you that games should become a regular learning habit around your studio, please realize that this excitement extends to you, the teacher, as well! Games will allow you to have more fun and be fully engaged in each lesson (no more yawning and flashcards!) And when you are fully present and excited about what’s happening, the students are having more fun. And when the students are having more fun, more learning happens. And when more learning is happening, retention rates are higher. Which leads us right back to the beginning… happy teachers! It’s a beautiful cycle that I really don’t want you to miss!
So now it is time for some self-evaluation. Because knowledge without action is useless!
~ If you’re not regularly using games in your lessons, why not?
~ If you do regularly use games, how could you be using them more effectively in your studio?
~ How often do we sit down and evaluate how we can be the best possible teachers for our students … and what changes might be necessary to achieve this (including games but not limited to them)?
So what is the next step? Start with one student. Play one game. This week. And then next week? Try it again. And again. Until you have a culture of active learning happening in your studio. Believe me … once you’ve tasted the excitement it can bring, you will never turn back!