"playing by ear"
This works for beginner-beginners, but can be spiraled up in so many ways. I brought a thumb piano to my last class (you could use a guitar, keyboard, etc.), and assigned one letter of the alphabet to each piano key (I taped the letters to the instrument). When I said the letter, my student would play the corresponding key. Then I would say a few letters in a row, and she would play each of those. The letters I had her play spelled out her name, so they were relevant to her. We also did this with numbers (13,30; 14, 40;). It's a great listening exercise and my student really enjoyed it!
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