What is your favorite game to play? Is it hide and seek? Perhaps your
favorite game is chess, or Monopoly? In the late 1750s, a very young
Mozart had a favorite game. It was Music. At age three young Mozart
would sit and play with his toys while his father would give his older
sister piano lessons. Young Mozart would then go to the piano and
play a few keys.

By the time Mozart was four he started taking piano lessons himself.
Mozart had a brilliant mind for music. For him, music was a game.
His father never had to make Mozart practice. In fact, the opposite
was true. Mozart's father would have to tell young Mozart to play outside.
Even then, Mozart only wanted to play games centered around music.
By the age of five Mozart started writing little pieces on the piano.
The neighbors often wondered where all the beautiful music came from.
Mozart's father said it was an original from young Mozart. They thought
he was joking. Mozart became obsessed with his love of the game,
and he composed more music for whole orchestras by the age of eight.

Life was much different in the 1700s than it is today. There was no
television or radio, no computers or smartphones. One of the ways
people kept themselves entertained was through music. If you didn't
know how to play, you would have to hang around someone who did.
One of the popular musical games to play was to create or play a theme
then come up with as many variations to that theme. It was an important
part of a musician's training in those times to be able to play variations on
a theme at will.

Would you like to become more like Mozart? You can start by enjoying
Mozart's favorite game. Start simple and work your way through little
variations on your piano pieces. Understand how to manipulate the rhythms
and alter or add some notes to the melody. You can arpeggiate chords to fill
up space if there is a long note in the melody, or add a rhythm to the note.
Either way, you can explore how to make the music your own, and dazzle
your audience just like in Mozart's age.