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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Video Games and Practicing

Just about all kids love video games and now that many students are getting smartphones, they have access to video games all the time.  Students bring their phones to school and in between classes, I see them playing different apps and watching each other play the latest 'cool' games.  That is what inspired my lecture about practicing a few weeks ago.

For my Monday Video of the Week, I projected my iPad in front of the class and played the game Flappy Bird while they all watched at how bad I was at the game.  I never could clear more than 5 pipes.  My students enjoyed watching how bad I was at the game and they were excited to tell me all of their high scores...many of which were in the 100's.  They let me know that I would get better and it would be easier if I play the game more.

I told students that when they practice a video game, it is fun because they see progress and they can get farther and farther in the game.  The same is true with practicing an instrument.  The more you practice, the farther you can go!  Video games are not fun when you don't see an improvement....and you have to play it a lot to get really good.

When you practice more, you sound better and playing becomes easier.  As playing is easier and you realize you sound good, you begin to develop a real love for the instrument.  The more you love your instrument, the more you practice.  The more you practice the better you get....and on you can go.

Someone really needs to develop a video game type of practicing app where students play their instruments for the app and are rewarded by earning high scores for correct intonation, rhythm, etc. and are able to clear different levels.

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