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Tuesday, June 05, 2012



How To Make Learning Fun

My boy is studying for his ABRSM Music Theory Grade 2 exams. He hates it. In fact, he hates studying and memorizing and doing any "hard" work. However, he loves cowboys and robots and drawing funny figures with all sorts and manners of special and powerful weapons that can be loaded up in an instant to win over the enemy, the result of playing too many computer games.

So, I thought about it all night. How do I turn studying scales and the relationship between major and minor scales fun?

How Do I Make This Fun? How Do I Make Studying Fun?

So, I told him a story. I told him that C major was the Captain (C stands for Captain), so he didn't need to have any special key signature. A captain gives orders so he does not need any special guns or knives. Captain C has a nephew called A minor. Since they are relatives, A does not need to have any special "weapons" as well but since he is still small (a minor), he needs to keep a small knife in his 7th pocket to keep as protection.

We also talked about the other "families", F major/D minor and G major/E minor making  up all sorts of stories as we went along while relating them to the scales and the key signatures for the major or minor scales. The Father called F Major and his son named "D' has Big flat noses. So they both have the same key signature Bb while the Girl called G wants to cut up the Egg called E with a sharp knife called F, they both have the same key signature which is F sharp. My boy played a big part in coming up with the stories himself. We also came up with a silly song about the families and sang them together.

Then we talked about the sharp family and the flat family. We decided that the sharp family carried sharp knives as weapons against bad people while the flat family carries guns that shoots out flat bullets. Finally, I asked him to draw out the families. 

What fun. I had fun teaching. He had fun learning and I am sure he will remember his music scales now. Here are some of this drawings.

Captain C major

His nephew A minor

 The Sharp and Flat family

Eb major and his three guns that shoot out flat bullets. He doesn't have enough hands, so one gun is attached to his hat! lol.

 Bb major and his two guns

A major and his 'sharp' knives

How to make learning fun? It is not hard at all. You just have to know your child well. Understand his likes and dislikes and his style of learning. For a young child you can incorporate stories and songs to make learning fun. This is just an example of how to make learning fun. You can use this method for "boring" subjects that require a lot of plain reading and memorizing. At the moment both kids are memorizing their Italian terms. Soon, we will be speaking Italian at home as we incorporate those terms into our daily language to help them remember. :) 

Learning can be fun. I just wish that I have more time to teach the children in this manner. It is never possible during school days, not with their heavy homework load. :(




5 comments:

  1. Very ingenious indeed. Sure to ace his music exam now :)

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  2. Ai Lian, if I had told him to try to memorize and remember the scales, he would have balked and complained all day long and NOT remember them. lol. This way, he was learning without realizing it. Haha.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. Thanks. I didn't study music theory but as usual, when teaching the kids, I learn new things myself. lol.

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