4 Fun DIY Christmas Piano Party Games

If you’ve ever longed to host something for students over the holiday season other than the traditional recital or studio party, then you’ll love hearing about my Blitzen Bash event – complete with gig-like performances and DIY Christmas piano party games.

4 Fun DIY Christmas Piano Party Games facebook 1

⬆️ Listen to the podcast above or keep on reading, whichever fits your style. ↙️

I hosted this event for my students in December 2019 and it was a blast. In this post, I’ll share all the details with you so that you can take some inspiration for your own fun Christmas piano party!

The “gig-like” atmosphere

The main goal of the Blitzen Bash was to provide a “gig-like” experience which would be appropriate for even my youngest students. Unlike a typical concert, there would be other stuff going on while my students played.

Set up for Blitzen Bash resized

Many musicians perform in an environment more like this. They’re not always up on a central stage in hushed silence with all eyes glued on them; they’re often providing background music for ambiance while people chat and mill about. 

Both gig-like and concert-like types of performing are valuable, but our piano students usually only get to experience the formal concert or recital environment. 

Performance Logistics

For the Blitzen Bash, my students prepared a set of 3–5 Christmas pieces each. I set up a running order so that they would play their sets over the course of the bash.

I invited piano families to come along at staggered times so that they would be there about 15 minutes before their child was due to play their set.

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Staggering the families helped make the event feel more like an open house than a concert. I also knew that I couldn’t physically fit everyone together in my home, so I had to structure it so that attendees were spaced out throughout the day. 

DIY Christmas Piano Party Activity Stations

If I wanted my students to experience playing at a Christmas party, I also had to create a party atmosphere!

I knew that just encouraging people to chat would make them feel awkward about interrupting the students’ playing, and they would probably stand around and watch attentively instead. 

I needed to get some noise going – and it had to start with the kids. I knew that once the kiddos were creating a bit of ruckus, the parents would happily chat and grab coffees and create that hum of conversation I was after.

How did I encourage the students into providing that noise without it turning into pure mayhem? I set up 4 different “stations” with games and activities for the kids to get them involved.

Visit the ‘Special Occasions’ section of my Music Theory page for more holiday ideas and freebies.

Station 1: Pin the Tail on the Treble Clef

For this one, you need a GIANT treble clef without the dot on the end of the tail. Affix the treble clef to the wall at about the same height as most of your students.

Pin the tail on the treble clef resized

You can draw one free-hand or print one out. I did a combination of both – printed it but then coloured it in by hand. (I have no good reason for doing it that way; I guess I just felt like doing some colouring! 😆)

If you have a corkboard handy, you could use actual pins to attach the “tail”. I chose to simply stick my treble clef on the wall, so we used speech bubble post-it notes as tails.

Instructions for students:

  1. Stare at the treble clef intensely until you think you’ve memorised where the tail should go.
  2. Have someone help you put on the blindfold, put the treble clef’s tail in your hand and spin you around, leaving your back towards the treble clef. 
  3. Try to place the tail on the treble clef!
  4. Take off the blindfold, trace around your spot and sign your name.

Station 2: Name that Tune

For this station, I put together coloured notation versions of excerpts from pop songs, famous classical themes and Christmas carols. I did this easily in Musescore using the coloured notes function, but you could do it by hand if you prefer.

Name that tune boomwhackers resized

I set up these cards next to my Boomwhackers so that the kiddos could play each card and then write their guess for the melody on the back. 

Instructions for students:

  1. Pick up a card and play the tune by tapping the tops of the boomwhackers.
  2. Try to guess what the tune is.
  3. Turn over the card and write your guess for the name of the song along with your name.

Station 3: Symbol Snowman

This one was by far the messiest. I almost hesitate to show the photos of this because I used the wrong type of paint, and the snowman was made from all sorts of random parts…it was not my finest design work. 

Symbol Snowman resized

But here’s the thing: This monstrosity was BY FAR the most popular station. The adults in my life (including myself) might have found it unsightly, but the kids absolutely loved it. 

The basic setup is to take a big sheet of posterboard, foam core board, or other sturdy material (mine was a former art portfolio from my college days.) Cut holes in it, insert cups into the holes and then decorate it as a snowman. 

Hot tip: If you don’t want yours to be as hideous as mine, make sure to read your tube of paint first to check the expiration date and type of paint. 🤣

Instructions for students:

  1. Take all 5 beanbags and stand behind the line.
  2. Throw each beanbag, one at a time, aiming for the matching hole. 
  3. Count your points! You get 1 point for every beanbag in a hole, and an extra bonus 2 points if it’s in the correct (matching) hole.
  4. The winner is the one with the most points at the end of three rounds.

Station 4: Colouring Station

As a former quiet kid myself, I know not everyone wants to jump into a game with relative strangers. That’s why I set up a colouring station in the back corner of our space as the last station.

Colouring station landscape resized

I laid out lots of options for colouring – pencils, pens, crayons – and made copies of our Musical Hues sheets available. I also put out a spare sketchbook with (very messy!) instructions to tear out a sheet if they felt like drawing their own picture instead.

VMT members can download the Musical Hues Colouring Sheets from the VMT library.

Not a member? Visit the membership page to join and get instant access to the Musical Hues Colouring Sheets, plus loads of other resources to make your own Blitzen Bash a success!

Instructions for students:

  1. Choose a sheet from the folder and take it out. Make sure you know all the symbols on the page. (Ask someone for help if you’re not sure.)
  2. Colour it in following the directions along the side of the page.
  3. Write the name of the instrument across the top (if you can figure out what it is.)

Have you hosted a Christmas Piano Party?

I’d love to hear about the activities you did! Make sure to leave a comment below about your bash before you head off to try some of these Christmas piano party games at your next one. 🎄

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