Tag Archives: Cup Beat Game



I know, I’m obsessed with YouTube. I admit it. But it’s my go-to site. It’s <ahem> educational. Need to know how to use Photoshop? Comb your hair into a beehive? Make a rainbow loom bracelet? Fold a napkin swan? Any skill you could ever want to learn–there’s a tutorial for that. My daughter views tutorials on cosmetics application. And last year, when I was painting my study (so much harder than I anticipated), I watched a dozen painting tutorials.


YouTube tutorials can also help you progress in your art. My son has watched hundreds of guitar tutorials. And I found tutorials especially useful in my teaching and my own practicing.

Long before the Pitch Perfect movie came out,virtually every elementary general music teacher and band teacher taught his classes the Cup Beat Game. It goes like this:

Rich Mullins even incorporated it into his song, “Screen Door.” This is really old, so please excuse the quality of the video.

I used to tell my students that if they forgot how to do it, they could look it up on YouTube. There are lots of Cup Beat Game tutorials. I can’t  find the old one I used with my students, but here’s a good one:

One of my favorite uses for YouTube is to watch pieces that I’m learning (or want to learn) to play on piano. Here’s a video I discovered the other day.

Amazing, right? This same guy uploaded one of the best piano tutorials I’ve ever seen:

I’m not even learning how to play this piece yet. (I”ll start it someday soon.) But I’ve watched this tutorials several times, and it really gives great strategies for practicing the piece. I like his thought about starting at the end, and I like how he breaks down the chords. I also like that pivot thing he demonstrates. Genius.

I would like to end today’s post with just one more performance of Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 4–this time played by Vladimir Horowitz, who passed away in 1989 and is sorely missed. This is sound only, and it’s a little hysterical, because he loses his place (but he cheerfully recovers). He plays like he’s on fire. You gotta love him.

What tutorials do you watch on YouTube? Share in the comments below.