When they don't want to play, try changing the game! 

Is convincing your child to practice a daily struggle? Do they shuffle through flashcards for a few moments and lose interest? Pull out Crazy 8ths and play for 10 or more minutes a day, and you’ll see results! With your Cheat Sheet Card, even a non-musician can provide crucial support and encouragement for their child by playing with them. Now the whole family (ages 6 and up) can learn how to read music together!

For all ages and skill levels

Crazy 8ths is made for musicians of all ages and abilities. Beginners can master Die Meisterfischer (Go Fish) and The Merry Widow (Old Maid), while advanced students love the fast and furious fun of Crazy Eighths (Crazy 8’s ) and Play It By Ear (Spoons). 

Young Students


Young children love to listen and create music but when it comes to reading music, they struggle. Most of the techniques used for teaching notes are often too mature, requiring a higher level of literacy than they might possess. Sure, the spaces in treble clef spell FACE, but that isn't helpful when you're still learning to spell your own name!

In the 'old days,' teachers waited for children to mature (3rd or 4th grade) before starting lessons. But we have proof of just how much these little brains can soak up at such early ages. For instance, with the Suzuki technique, the child begins playing immediately. But eventually, every student must take the plunge and learn to read music.

Flashcards are the traditional teaching aid for naming notes but are notoriously boring!
Give your kids a break from monotonous memorization tasks and let them play! Suppose your child is playing in the Middle C Position on the piano and knows Bass A, B, Middle C, and Treble D, E. With just these 5 notes, you can play Die Meisterfischer (Go Fish). "Do you have any Bass Clef A's?", and show them that card. Once they’ve mastered the first notes, add in a couple more each time you play.

Haydn Seek (Memory) is also great for young ones. Use the same five notes in two different suits and place the ten cards face down on the table. Turn over one card, help them name the note and look for the matching card.





Intermediate Students


Even after a year or two of lessons, some children (more than you may think) have squeaked by without learning their notes. They think they’re too advanced for flashcards but they definitely need to review and practice naming notes.

Crazy Eights (Crazy 8s) and Play It By Ear (Spoons) are wonderful for learning new notes and brushing up on others. The students can play and never even realize they're studying! The games are fun, challenging, and have just the right amount of competitiveness—all of the important elements that keep older kids interested.





Young Students


Young children love to listen and create music but when it comes to reading music, they struggle. Most of the techniques used for teaching notes are often too mature, requiring a higher level of literacy than they might possess. Sure, the spaces in treble clef spell FACE, but that isn't helpful when you're still learning to spell your own name!

In the 'old days,' teachers waited for children to mature (3rd or 4th grade) before starting lessons. But we have proof of just how much these little brains can soak up at such early ages. For instance, with the Suzuki technique, the child begins playing immediately. But eventually, every student must take the plunge and learn to read music.

Flashcards are the traditional teaching aid for naming notes but are notoriously boring!
Give your kids a break from monotonous memorization tasks and let them play! Suppose your child is playing in the Middle C Position on the piano and knows Bass A, B, Middle C, and Treble D, E. With just these 5 notes, you can play Die Meisterfischer (Go Fish). "Do you have any Bass Clef A's?", and show them that card. Once they’ve mastered the first notes, add in a couple more each time you play.

Haydn Seek (Memory) is also great for young ones. Use the same five notes in two different suits and place the ten cards face down on the table. Turn over one card, help them name the note and look for the matching card.





Play anywhere & everywhere 

Crazy 8ths is made for musicians of all ages and abilities. Beginners can master Die Meisterfischer (Go Fish) and The Merry Widow (Old Maid), while advanced students love the fast and furious fun of Crazy Eighths (Crazy 8’s ) and Play It By Ear (Spoons). 

Young Students


Young children love to listen and create music but when it comes to reading music, they struggle. Most of the techniques used for teaching notes are often too mature, requiring a higher level of literacy than they might possess. Sure, the spaces in treble clef spell FACE, but that isn't helpful when you're still learning to spell your own name!

In the 'old days,' teachers waited for children to mature (3rd or 4th grade) before starting lessons. But we have proof of just how much these little brains can soak up at such early ages. For instance, with the Suzuki technique, the child begins playing immediately. But eventually, every student must take the plunge and learn to read music.

Flashcards are the traditional teaching aid for naming notes but are notoriously boring!
Give your kids a break from monotonous memorization tasks and let them play! Suppose your child is playing in the Middle C Position on the piano and knows Bass A, B, Middle C, and Treble D, E. With just these 5 notes, you can play Die Meisterfischer (Go Fish). "Do you have any Bass Clef A's?", and show them that card. Once they’ve mastered the first notes, add in a couple more each time you play.

Haydn Seek (Memory) is also great for young ones. Use the same five notes in two different suits and place the ten cards face down on the table. Turn over one card, help them name the note and look for the matching card.





On the Road


Card games are a great way for students to make new friends, learn, and have fun! Be sure to pack a few decks of Crazy 8ths if your band or orchestra is traveling to a competition. Crazy 8ths is easy to slip in your bag for any trip, and creates a welcome diversion when your family is waiting at a restaurant or sitting in the airport.





On the Road


Card games are a great way for students to make new friends, learn, and have fun! Be sure to pack a few decks of Crazy 8ths if your band or orchestra is traveling to a competition. Crazy 8ths is easy to slip in your bag for any trip, and creates a welcome diversion when your family is waiting at a restaurant or sitting in the airport.





Case Studies

Jan, a Colorado piano teacher, called after a summer piano camp. The students were basically late-elementary and middle school ages. She decided to try to get through every game in the booklet. The students had a blast. They liked the pictures, the word play, and the games, especially "The Merry Widow" (possibly because she kept losing) and "Lyre, Lyre" (because it was socially acceptable to lie). She noted a great improvement on their reading skills by the end of only one week.

 

Michael was 6, a son of a piano teacher, and the youngest of 3 children (all musical).  At first there was resistance to play the games, and he would only do so if his older sister would help him with the notes.  After a few months I called back for a update.  Not only were they all still playing and enjoying Crazy 8ths, but Michael was naming the notes as quickly as his siblings, and frequently winning the games.

His mother noticed a significant event when she gave him a new song that was in a different finger position than the ones he already knew.  Historically she had problems with other students.  But Michael didn't even bat an eye, he went on with the song as if nothing was different.  She says it was definitely the cards that helped.

 

Christopher was 7, and had taken 2 1/2 years of piano.  Every night before bed, he was given a choice of doing any activity with one of his parents.  Every night for weeks and weeks he would pick playing Crazy 8ths games.  Not only did his reading improve, but he was having a great time that was spent with his parents, one on one.

 

Mary and I struck up a conversation in the school hallway one day.  Somehow it moved to the subject of music.  She has two children currently taking Suzuki piano lessons and knows they need to learn to read music, but it wasn't going very well. She had begun piano at 7 herself and quit within a few years.  Only a little while back did she do some soul searching, being upset that she never continued her lessons, and figured out why.  As a child she couldn't read the bass clef.  Of course my heart broke and I sent a game to her the very next day.  She has already reported that she's enjoying playing these games with her kids and THEY won't have that same story to tell their children!!

 

If you have a story to contribute, please send us an e-mail.

Scientific Proof

THE MOZART EFFECT - "Two researchers reported that college students who listened to 10 minutes of a Mozart Sonata scored 8-9 points higher on a spatial-temporal test than after 10 minutes of silence or relaxation tapes."

Don Campbell, author of The Mozart Effect endorses Crazy 8ths by saying: "Take note! 'Crazy 8ths' provides the child and parent with more than numbers and figures. It allows young eyes to become used to musical notation with ease, fun, and creativity."

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA and UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN - "Giving piano lessons to pre-schoolers significantly increases their ability to perform the types of reasoning required for excellence in science and math. At the end of six months, children who received piano lessons scored an average of 34 percent higher on the tests of spatial-temporal ability."

 

"Research shows that kids who are involved in music do better in math, have better attendance, and do their homework. Period." - School music teacher (Lafayette, CO).

 

PIANO SALES HIT A HIGH NOTE (Cincinnati, Ohio) - Says one piano buyer, "I played as a child. But I had also read an article saying that playing piano helped young children in math and science. That clinched it for me."

 

WILL PIANO LESSONS MAKE MY CHILD SMARTER? - New Studies Suggest that Playing Music may Improve Learning, Memory, Logic and General Creativity - New Horizons Study

 

Georgia Governor Zell Miller wants to make $105,000 of his budget available so that each newborn child in the state would be sent home from the hospital with a CD or tape of classical music. "No one doubts that listening to music, especially at a very early age, affects the reasoning that underlies math and engineering and chess."

 

"All children in Daviess County's elementary schools were given piano lessons this year. The idea was to build up brains..." A Western Kentucky University research team plans to study these children for the next 12 years (Owensboro, KY).

 

"College students who listened to a Mozart Sonata scored higher on intelligence tests. And separate experiments showed that children who took piano lessons also scored higher on intelligence tests." - Boulder Daily Camera (Boulder, CO).

 

"A new study by Chinese psychologists shows that children who have spent a few years learning to play a musical instrument also end up with better verbal skills . . ." - Boulder Daily Camera (Boulder, CO).

 

The proof is here. Make sure your children are exposed to music. And if they are taking private lessons, help them "study" their notes by playing Crazy 8ths.