[brah-vis-uh-moh; Italian brah-vees-see-maw] 

interjection: (used to express the highest 

praise to a performer).


Word Origin from Italian, superlative of bravo. 


Board game that teaches basic music 

note reading in a fun way


Artist and writer Ellen Sandbeck and local composer Tyler Kaiser have been collaborating on a music learning board game called “Bravissimo”, that helps learning to read music in a fun and entertaining way. Ellen created the concept of the game almost 20 years ago when her daughter, Addie, first started taking piano lessons, and was having trouble understanding written music. After years of playing and refining the game local composer Tyler Kaiser joined the family team last summer.   

The original version could be confusing and misinterpreted and with his musical expertise and background in teaching, the game has been expanded and improved as an instructional tool that makes the learning even more fun. Kaiser figured out how to group music notation,terminology and to make it as cohesive as possible. 

Play starts at Beginner, Advanced Beginner, and Intermediate levels in a single game, this makes it possible for a beginning student to beat a pro musician at the game.

It’s an effective game and learning tool. The number of friends and educators they have shared the game with all have had positive results, and had fun while  playing. The main thing that is evident at the end of the game is “Everyone wins” because you learn from the winner and each other collaboratively, it’s like being in a band, as it encourages players to work together, trading cards and points.

There is even a humorous side of the game that is not unlike trivial pursuit only these cards contain sometimes funny experiences that musicians can encounter or tidbits of musical history.

Kaiser said that people can email their “bad gigs” humorous or other wise that will be considred for inclusion in the game as it is developed. 

He said that the price of the game would be cheaper than formal music reading lessons and can be twice the fun. Tyler also spoke of the other possible versions of the game,  a Rock and Roll version, Jazz and maybe even folk.

Ellen and Tyler  have been hosting several game nights these past few months inviting the public to test the game and smooth out the rough edges with their input and suggestions. The Kickstarter campaign is scheduled for launch this Friday, February 13, 4-8 pm, 2532 East 4th Street Duluth in order to gain enough money to have the games produced. (To be American made all the way!).

It really does work. Ellen’s daughter Addie went from being at a complete standstill in learning to read music, to being able to read music in a single month of playing the game, and she is now a very accomplished sight reader. and a few game testers who could not read a note of music (despite being able to play an instrument) were reading notes by themselves by the end of the game.

They plan to set up a system so that musicians and music educators can be associates, which would entitle them to buy games for wholesale and sell them for retail. This will not be a multi-level marketing scheme, and will not require any up front fee. All a music teacher would have to do is take pre-orders from students, charging them the retail price for the game, and then buy the games for wholesale price (the game will retail for approximately $55, and wholesale for approximately $25). I think this could be a really straightforward and easy way for a lot of musicians, who tend to be quite impoverished, to make a little extra money. 


Contact: Ellen Sandbeck

4781 Emerson Rd

Duluth, MN 55803

Facebook: Bravissimo Music Game