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What Users Are Saying About The Musical Adjectives Project & Musical Words: The Board Game
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Celeste & Stickies


I spotted this quite a few years ago and since then have used the idea enthusiastically! It's been especially useful when preparing for any type of performance, whether in an exam or concert. It's been a springboard for pupils to find their own descriptive words - we've often produced word clouds or used sticky notes on the score.
It proved to be a great way to talk about how to actually communicate these words in playing... I also realised that I shouldn't assume my pupils hear things the way I do!
(Alison Mathews, Pianist & Composer)

Oh wow! This is fantastic.I have been using pictures and imagery for some time now But this will bring a whole other level...
(Stacy Pasqual Byrne-Brock)

10 year old Kennedy liked playing the Musical Words board game so much that she wanted to tell other teachers all about it so they could use it with their students. As a teacher, I like the fact that this game pushes the student to COMMUNICATE musical ideas. This is an excellent tool for performance preparation as well as improvisation practice.
(Dana Rice, Kids and Keys)

I always felt that pupils were hesitant to talk about how music makes them feel. In general, they would be only too happy to confirm if they liked, or disliked the piece but even most eloquent, would pause when asked to describe the tone and tonality, character and mood of musical compositions. From the age of five to the age of eighteen the majority would struggle with those elusive adjectives. Modern music scholars are expected to be fluent in the music terminology in all three languages. And yet, they are short of words in their own. To insure a sincere and musically convincing performance from my pupils, I will be asking them in addition to conventional Italian performance directions, to write out a list of adjectives which would best describe the character and mood, form and style in English.

(Elena Cobb, Composer/Publisher)

The great thing about Musical Words that many games don't do is that it gets the students playing, sight-reading, improvising, and really paying attention to what the character of the piece is and how they can portray that to their listeners.
(Jennifer Fox, Teacher, Clinician, Blogger) Read More in this review

I encourage my students to think of descriptive words for the music they are studying. I was inspired to do this largely by the delightful and ever-expanding Musical Adjectives Project. Many students were quite inventive, proving that they had spent some time actually thinking about their music, and a lot of them felt the exercise had been very worthwhile.
Writing About Piano Music
(The Cross Eyed Pianist, Fran Wilson)

As music teachers we are often prone to feeding endless technical and musical instructions to our students. ”wrist up! shoulders down! play that staccato! you are slowing down here!” While these instructions are great, should we not also be stimulating their creative imaginations so they add character to their interpretations? Well, the board game Musical Words is designed to do just that!
(Sam Rao, Creator Practicia App)

Thank you Gail Fischler for the wonderful music adjectives project link. Most Interesting & Useful.
(Ennio A. Paola, Composer / Artistic Director at Significant Music)

Of course, good teaching should always be harnessing the full capacities of the imagination... A project like this helps redress absences which have crept into standard or accepted praxis ...Some composers make better use of language cues than others, but even when the composer has provided customized clarity of expressive intent via adjectives (or adverbs, or any other devices, language-based or not) there is still the need for the performer to consider every *gesture* as expressing some distinct quality, and language can be incredibly helpful in sparking this nuanced approach.
(Elissa Milne, Selwyn College NZ)

…music teachers are happy to embrace modern technology, but something needs to be said for good old fashioned board games too. After trying out this game with my pupils, I would whole heartedly recommend MUSICAL WORDS to you as a supplement for your summer camp programmes or individual and class music lessons. It would offer bags of fun, encourage improvisation and would really open up a fab way to the world of creativity. (Elena Cobb, Pianist, Composer, Creator of the Higgledy Piggledy Jazz series) Read More in this review

teacher map 200.jpg"I tried to build in a lot of flexibility when designing this game so teachers could use the board and basic game format to supplement work in different areas from dynamics & expression, to mood & character, to music history & style. Players can Improvise, perform live, or use recordings. People have said, "Why a board game? Everybody wants apps now." Because this is about musical meaning and expression, an app would just not do the job. I had to design something interactive that could be played live, in person, and with others." (Gail Fischler, creator Musical Words)

I love the 'Musical Adjectives Project', great idea! I feel I have a challenge for the next volume to come up with another term/description that you can fit in there...
(Graham Lynch, Composer, Sound Sketches)

All time top post on my piano blog Describing Music in Words & Sound
The Cross Eyed Pianist, Fran Wilson

I never thought it would be this much fun- I love it! I spent hours on this. (K.W. student)

I'm loving this! Has really helped my teaching this week, getting students (children & adults) to think about music in a different way. Thanks for highlighting this fascinating project. A new and highly imaginative way of considering music!
(The Cross Eyed Pianist www.crosseyedpianist.wordpress.com) Let The Students Speak