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Musical Chairs: 10 Hidden Life Lessons We Can Learn From the Game

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Playing a Trip to Jerusalem

Who knew that by playing a few games of Musical Chairs, you could actually learn a life lesson or two?! In fact, if you take the time to truly observe the game and think about it, there are far more than just one or two life lessons that can be learned from the game of Musical Chairs. If you’re unsure what these lessons might be, you’re about to find out…

As far as life lessons go, Musical Chairs can provide a really fun way to learn them. Rather learn these lessons through a few rounds of Musical Chairs than truly hard and trying times, don’t you think? Let’s take a look at each of the hidden lessons and how Musical Chairs can teach them.

10 life lessons taught by the game of Musical Chairs

1. Arguments can be peacefully resolved.

Stick a bunch of kids in a room and leave them to play Musical Chairs without supervision, and note how quickly the arguments start to crop up. “Susan is cheating” or “Adrian pushed me” are common sorts of things you will hear emerging from these arguments.

The reality is that no one likes to lose. In fact, it can bring out the worst in us…it can even make us a little deceitful. 

By supervising the game, adults can teach children that there is value in peacefully resolving these arguments. Catching the argument in action is a good starting point. Then uncover the potential problem carefully and gently, and soon children will realize just how silly their arguments are. 

Peaceful resolutions can easily be come to…after all; it’s just a game, right?

2. Be kind to others.

It’s all fun and games to mock someone for losing and proverbially rub it in their faces, but it’s a completely different story when the same behavior is lobbied at you, isn’t it? 

That’s how it works in Musical Chairs. Kids playing the game tend to get mean or nasty with the losers, or vice versa. They quickly learn just how hurtful that can be when it’s done to them in return. 

There’s a great opportunity to teach kindness to others when playing Musical Chairs by developing good sportsmanship and mutual respect towards each other. 

3. Life can be unfair (in fact, it is unfair).

Unfortunately, life is unfair, and so is the game of Musical Chairs. Mom and dad aren’t going to ensure that a chair is made available for you during the game, and if you don’t get a chair, you’re out. There are no negotiations, and tantrums aren’t going to change the facts.

As a result, this can help kids to realize that sometimes things seem unfair, and that’s okay…we learn to cope with it in a cheerful manner or work much harder to ensure that losing is not probable. 

4. There are correct ways to deal with disappointment. 

There’s no denying the fact that for some kids, there’s a great deal of disappointment when playing Musical Chairs. It is especially true for the kid who is out first and has to watch the rest of the rounds in progress, while being excluded. 

Dissapointed upset young man

At first, it might be hard to deal with, but over time players learn that while it is disappointing, it’s just part of the game. There will be next time to perform better, and they can use the time sitting out to cheer others on, help stop and start the music or simply revel in the excitement all around them. 

Sometimes life can disappoint, but it’s all about how we deal with those feelings of disappointment that matter. 

5. There are effective coping mechanisms for frustration.

It can be rather frustrating if you are caught without a chair and have to sit out. For some players, the frustration can feel overwhelming. Perhaps some kids even act out and scream, shout, and throw a tantrum. Some are rude to other players or refuse to play in the future. 

The lesson here is that frustration is real, and every single human being experiences it. If we all threw a tantrum, it wouldn’t get us anywhere…and it won’t get a player of the game anywhere anyway. 

Kids who play musical chairs will be exposed to regular frustration and will, over time, learn to deal with it in a healthy way that is socially acceptable. This can help with future life frustrations too. 

6. Strategy is a great skill.

In life, there are plenty of areas where strategy can make all of the difference. This can range from having a successful difficult conversation to ensuring that you are shortlisted for the job of your dreams.

Strategy is everything and also plays a large role in Musical Chairs. You can strategize to get a chair. Perhaps you notice that everyone is scrambling for the end chairs, so you can strategize to head for the middle chairs. Players learn strategies like this quite quickly if they are thinking on their feet. Learning to strategize quickly can be highly beneficial in other areas of life. 

7. Be alert and aware of your surroundings. 

Playing a game of musical chairs is very much like life. There are things happening around you that can distract you from your goals, and at the same time, if you take your eyes off the goal and stop listening and being aware, someone else will snatch your place, or you will miss out on great opportunities. 

Musical Chairs can teach players to be aware of what is happening at all times and to be able to make quick decisions on a course of action.

8. Act fast.

Much like in Musical Chairs, if you don’t act fast in life, you may just lose out. Musical Chairs can teach players to be aware of what they want and to act on a moment’s notice to get it. When it comes to opportunities in life, it’s much the same. Know the rules, be ready, and act when the time is right. 

This is a lesson that players can apply to their lives, especially when it comes to making career decisions or similar. 

Act Fast

9. It’s okay to be self-centered. 

Being kind is very important, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put yourself first in certain cases. In life and Musical Chairs, you will always miss out if you keep putting others first. If you learn to put yourself first and be self-centered, you can experience the life growth that you desire. 

You don’t have to be unkind; you just have to put yourself first. Musical Chairs can certainly teach this lesson. You have to make a mad dash for the chair when the music ends. If you are too nice and allow others to get ahead of you, you won’t have a chair, and you will be out of the game. This can teach the risk of always putting others ahead of you in life. 

10. Perseverance will make all the difference in life.

In a game of Musical Chairs, if you simply give up because you lose a few rounds, you might find yourself missing out. It’s much the same in life…just because you lose or fail at something, it doesn’t mean that you must not try again. 

Persevering will get you more success than if you just quit because you had a small failure. Musical Chairs can teach this lesson, especially for kids who are out in the first few rounds. Stick around and play again when the next game starts in a few rounds time. That way, you can improve and do better with time. 

All things considered

If you have never really thought about the possible hidden life lessons in a simple game of Musical Chairs, you’re probably quite impressed right now. Musical Chairs is not just a random silly kid’s game. It’s a game that teaches people a lot about themselves and how to get through life…especially in the trying times.

Musical Chairs is undoubtedly a game that teaches many lessons to players. If you’re still wondering what people can learn from Musical Chairs, perhaps spend a bit of time watching people play the game, and it may become a bit more evident to you.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.