Day 2: Kinesthetic Learning

It’s December 2nd, and today we’re getting our students off the bench and moving! Some of my students sit like perfect angels for a whole lesson. Others can’t sit for hardly five minutes. Either way, it’s important to engage our student’s whole bodies in their learning from time to time! Your kinesthetic/tactile students learn concepts best by completing physical activities, not lectures and listening.

Do you have kinesthetic learners? According to, we are all kinesthetic learners to some extent.  But 10 signs you might have or you are a highly kinesthetic learner are

  1. Your knee is bouncing constantly — in fact, it is doing so right now.
  2. You regularly kick a soccer ball, or toss a baseball, or spin a basketball on your finger while having a conversation.
  3. You have ever grossed out your own family by cracking your knuckles too much.
  4. You talk with your hands… always.
  5. You pace when you really need to cram for a test.
  6. You mime things to boost your memory (or maybe you’re just a mime — and that’s really unique).
  7. You have gotten in trouble more than twice for tapping your pencil on your desk or clicking your pen… in the same class period.
  8. You think best when you’re exercising.
  9. You remember your notes best when you’ve written them down with your hand rather than typing them out.
  10. You touch everything you pass in a store without thinking about it. Seriously. Everything. Why? Because you’re a kinesthetic learner.

Read the full idea from here.

How can we teach with whole body movement when we are paid to keep a student playing on the bench? It’s not impossible! I have to say, I should probably pull this fan favorite out way more often than I do. The giggles and smiles that result from Music Staff Twister days in my studio are priceless 🙂 Today I am sharing our joy with you!

This is a DIY game that can easily be used in studio or online. I typically play it with single students in their lessons, but if you have the space to make the staff longer (and the pandemic ends), then it could be a fun group game as well!

Download the cards below (print, cut, laminate for longevity!), buy a roll of duct tape (or grab the handy dandy role in your junk drawer), and you’re all set! For online lessons, ask your piano parents to create 5 lines on their (carpeted) floor with duct tape before the lessons. Send a picture of your own so they know what you are looking for! I did add little lines for middle C at the top and bottom -but these are optional.

You as the teacher will be the one pulling the cards and giving the directions, so it is not necessary that the student have access to anything but the lines on the floor 🙂 Once you’ve printed the cards, you will call out what it says – for example, if you pull “left hand, c” from the deck, the student places their left hand on the c line or space. The cards are designed so that you can choose which C as you go along – specifically based on what notes your student is working on. You continue pulling cards and following the directions until any other part of the student’s body except their hands or feet touch the floor. Giggles always abound, and kinesthetic learning engages another part of their brain!

To modify this, consider

~ using bean bags and basic flashcards. Have the student name the note and throw/place a bean bag on the matching note on your duct tape staff.

~using candy or small stuffed animals. Anything to make identifying notes exciting and fun!

~ creating a longer staff for groups to play.

Looking for more DIY fun? Check out this post about using classic games in your studio to make music fun 🙂

11 thoughts on “Day 2: Kinesthetic Learning

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