Strengthen, Motivate, and Play: Music Games for Your Beginning Ensembles! Learn from Dr. Wendy K. Matthews of the Online Master of Music in Music Education Program

Kent State University Hugh A. Glauser School of Music

Dr. Wendy K. Matthews, the Program Coordinator for the Online Master of Music in Music Education, shares her ideas for music games for your beginning ensembles in her blog post for the National Association for Music Education.

Strengthen, Motivate, and Play: Music Games for Your Beginning Ensembles!

By NAfME Members Wendy K. Matthews and Joy O’Day-Bianchi

Educational games put the learning in the students’ hands and get you off the podium to interact with your students in new ways. Playing games can reduce the stress of traditional and remote learning environments while creating an engaging classroom for many students.

Reasons to Play Music Learning Games

Introduce/Reinforce Concepts: Games provide many teachable moments and offer space for students to explore musical concepts and their interconnections.

Motivate Learning: Games are enjoyable, fun, and pique student interest while also offering opportunities for student choice

Increase Engagement: Games can support concentration and on-task behavior and are adaptable to meet the varying levels and needs of your students.

Develop Resiliency: Games provide attainable challenges allowing students to learn from their mistakes as they progress.

Improve Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Skills: Games help students plan and develop strategies to manage information in flexible and creative ways.

Enable Discovery Learning: Games can build upon previous knowledge and provide opportunities to apply skills to new and novel situations.

Foster Cooperation and Collaboration: Games allow students to actively engage with others and set the foundation for active listening, group decision-making, and teamwork.

Provide Assessment: Games allow teachers time to individually assess, provide formative feedback, and record student learning.

Reprinted with permission from National Association for Music Education (NAfME). The full article published on September 2, 2021, can be found here.

Learn more about Dr. Wendy K. Matthews.

Enroll today in the Online Master of Music in Music Education Program at Kent State University

The Online Master of Music degree in Music Education program is designed to offer music teachers the opportunity to develop and refine their professional skills. The degree program allows for enhancement and specialization relative to music teaching and learning in contemporary school contexts.

Kent State University is synonymous with music education. Some of the leading voices in the field have earned a degree here. Our 100% online program can be completed in as few as 23 months. Our curriculum is created for the music teaching professional. Classes are 7 weeks and you can enroll in two classes per semester, including summer. This format allows you to focus on one area of study and then begin another music education course after a brief recess. We are dedicated to helping you design a program that provides you with exciting new perspectives in your teaching right from the beginning.

For more information on Kent State’s Online Master of Music in Music Education, visit

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