Skip to main content

Bravissimo! Duluth woman hits right notes with musical board game

  • Author:
  • Updated:

What started as a way to teach her daughter how to read music could make Duluth woman Ellen Sandbeck a board game innovator.

The writer and artist created a board game, called Bravissimo, that is designed to help people learn music, and now she is hoping to launch a Kickstarter drive to bring the game to a wider market.

She invented the game in the mid-90s, the Duluth News Tribune reports, after her daughter Addie, then 6, struggled to learn the link between written and aural music.

With a (currently) homemade board that bears similarities to Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, players make their way around the board picking up cards bearing musical notes and jargon, which they must use to create one measure of music, according to Best Events.

The game had a launch event held in Duluth last night giving people the chance to try it out, with another one planned for this coming Friday, December 11.

Local composer Tyler Kaiser helped Sandbeck develop the game, the Northland News Center reports, developing different skill levels so musical beginners still stand a chance of beating experts.

Sandbeck said that after creating the game, her daughter learned to read music in less than a month, and now hopes that others will use it to learn, as well as have plenty of fun.

"People memorize all kinds of things accidentally when they're playing a game so that's—it's a sneaky way to learn music without torturing yourself and tryna memorize stuff," Sandbeck told Northland News Center.

Diana Pothast of Duluth, who was playing her first game of Bravissimo Friday night, told the News Tribune: "I’ve learned more today than I learned probably my whole life about music."

Next Up

Voting survey vote election

Ramsey County sends out ballots with deceased candidate on it

The county said it's addressing the issue with the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Screen Shot 2022-09-28 at 12.30.28 PM

New haunted house experience coming to Inver Grove Heights

The exhibit will feature family-friendly and 18+ events.

Wayzata High School

Niche rankings identify best Minnesota schools, districts

Eden Prairie has schools ranked in both the private and public categories.


Walker, The Current announce end of Rock the Garden festival

The Walker Art Center and Minnesota Public Radio announced the festival will retire so the organizations can dream up new events.

Screen Shot 2022-09-28 at 9.05.52 AM

Able Seedhouse + Brewery in NE Minneapolis to close

The brewery and its onsite food truck, Animales Burger Co., will both be open for their last day on Saturday.

Lake Minnetonka

Police investigate spate of car break-ins on south Lake Minnetonka shore

The South Lake Minnetonka Police Department received reports that cars in Shorewood and Excelsior were broken into Tuesday morning.


1 dead, 3 injured in crash involving tractor and SUV

The man driving the tractor was killed in the crash.

University of minnesota sign

U of M gives some students 50% off meals for September after complaints

Students have complained about an array of issues surrounding dining halls.