Would Chopin Have Passed A Music Quiz?
By Brian Fong
Q. My children are very interested in playing music. Is there such a thing as a music quiz for kids?
A. Sure there's such a thing as a music quiz, and you can find one right inside of your head. Just reach up there, pull it out, and put it down on paper. I'm serious. Who knows where your children's musical interests lie better than you? Right -- no one; so instead of finding some pre-made music quiz, which may or may not challenge them at the levels that you want them to be challenged, go ahead and write your own.
The key to writing you own music quiz is... "G". OK, just kidding. The key to writing your own music quiz is to come up with questions that will interest and challenge your children. Make the quiz a mixture of technical, factual, and trivial (which is a lot like factual but with subjects that are more fun).
Let's suppose that your son plays the guitar and your daughter plays the flute. Yes, I know that I'm using stereotypes but it's just too hard to be politically correct when you're a simple Quizmaster.
A technical question for your son might be:
"What does 'playing harmonics' mean?"
While your daughter's technical music quiz question might be:
"What is acoustic impedance and why is it important to a flute player?"
By asking questions that go beyond what their music teacher asks you are helping your child develop a 360 degree view into their instrument. They'll be naturally better players when they understand how and why those notes are produced and how to stretch their instrument to its limits by manipulating and understanding the laws of physics that control the instruments. Physics? Can a music quiz teach physics? You bet it can.
Since your children are interested in music, and you're going to be taking the time to write a music quiz, why not fool them into learning other subjects by using music as the entry point into a learning experience?
You may just find that what started out as a simple music quiz becomes a lesson in understanding how science and mathematics interact with everything that we touch, see, and think. With a little bit of thought your music quiz can become a a major cornerstone of knowledge for a couple of musically inclined kids.
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