Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bravissimo! A New Game That Teaches Music Theory and More

My first published article for which I received payment was titled "Make a Game of It." The concept had to do with using a creativity to make learning fun. I'd learned through experience that learning doesn't always have to be drudgery.

This idea of gaining knowledge by means of playing games is not uniquely my own. In fact, unbeknownst to me a good friend of ours had developed a game that teaches music theory and after twenty years is now attempting to bring it to market. The game is called Bravissimo! The game's creator is Ellen Sandbeck. A couple years ago she reached out to a friend, Tyler Kaiser, to assist in fulfilling her original vision for what they hope to be a sought after product. In January they will be kicking off a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of the new game which is designed to teach people of all ages how to read music and learn essential concepts of music theory in a fun and painless way.

Bravissimo is played with a game board, a pair of dice, game markers and four sets of cards, each of which highlights different aspects of music theory. The players move their markers around the board, pick cards and have to read and explain the musical symbols on the cards. When a player reads a card correctly, s/he gets to keep it. The players need to collect enough cards to "write" a musical composition in order to win the game, or rather, appear at Carnegie Hall.

The target audience for Bravissimo includes parents of children who are taking music lessons; adults who took music lessons, but didn't really learn to read music; adults who have started taking music lessons, and would like to learn music theory in an amusing and painless way; and perhaps people who just enjoy playing board games.

The game will be published by De la Terre Press which Ellen Sandbeck founded in 1995 in order to publish her first book, Slug Bread & Beheaded Thistles. She's an accomplished artist as well as author.

The game's development has reached the point where they are creating events in which to have more and more people play the game and fine tune its instructions etc. This past Friday evening one such gathering was featured in our local paper.

EdNote: Next Thursday Beaners Central will host a public Bravissimo game night starting at 6 p.m. Someone from PACTV will be shooting video footage that will be used for the Kickstarter campaign. If you have the evening free,  make your way down. I'm sure they could use extra players.

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Recommended film that demonstrates the power of music: The Music Never Stopped, based on the work of Oliver Sacks.

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