ListeningBlackoutSo if you’ve noticed a lull in our posts here at 4D Piano it’s because we are deep in the Van Cliburn competition! All three of us teach here in the Fort Worth area so we are attending and even volunteering with different parts of the competition. It’s amazing to hear the marvelous performers gathered here to create beautiful music.

In honor of the Van Cliburn 2013, I made a fun listening blackout game for my students to play while they enjoy listening to the competition. Isn’t it neat that the live webcast and On Demand feature are free to anyone?  I’ve loved listening to the sessions I can’t attend – my entire family gets to enjoy 2 weeks of beautiful music and we can always catch up on any session we miss!

Today I’d like to share the pdf for my little game with you.  The instructions on the sheet are simple so it can be used for any competition with a web feed. I will try to share my studio’s music listening guide with you soon as well. This is where I have written different questions and ideas for them to listen to so they have a listening “teacher” of sorts to help them. At lessons after they have done any assigned (or unassigned) listening, we like to discuss the different aspects about the performer’s interpretation of the music.  I hope this is a fun game for you to try in your studios too!  Do you have any other ideas for encouraging students to listen to competitors or other music?

Download pdf here: ListeningBlackout

Author: Whitney

Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at

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