Review stories: a new practice game

The search for new games and angles to keep review pieces in play is endless. We recently made up a new one. (Who knows, maybe it’s not new; but it’s new to us.)

We printed out slips of paper with the names of all 43 repertoire pieces my daughter plays and placed them in a paper bag. We take turns drawing slips of paper, taking care to conceal the name from the other player. The player who drew the piece on this round then gives clues to see if the other player can guess the piece.

The clues can be of two types:

  1. Mini-stories and puns - Short vignettes with clues, often abstract and a little obtuse. For example, “There was a guy who looked at 5 internet sites before he found 3 that he liked.” (That was Seitz 53, if you’re following along at home.) Or, “This was the favourite dance piece for girls at Hogwart’s” (That’s “Witches’ Dance, of course.)
  2. “Opposite day” - Some of the clues can be opposites. For example, “This is a piece about an unhappy guy who lives in the city.” (That’s “The Happy Farmer.”)

When we’re stuck, we may work the book number into the clue to narrow down the possibilities. And there are probably many variations we haven’t thought of yet. It’s all a little corny and silly, but there’s just the right balance of creativity and silliness to appeal to our 9 year-old. So far, we haven’t run out of ways of mixing it up.

Written by:

Alan is the main practice partner and accompanist for a young violinist.