Category Archives: Games

Free Valentine Resources for Piano Teachers

Did you know you can find all my free Valentine resources on this page?

Free Valentine Piano Resources

Last week I posted one of my all-time favorite games, Steal a Heart, which is really good for groups. Today I want to mention two games that I made for student and teacher, Hearts and Clubs Notes/Keyboards and Hearts and Clubs Intervals. The file for Hearts and Club Notes also contains  keyboard flash cards, for beginning students who have not learned notes.

They both use flash cards, which I included in the files. The objective for both games is to quickly identify either note names or intervals. They are suitable for elementary through teens because I tried to keep the art more “game-like” and less cartoony.  The art doesn’t really mention Valentines, so you can use this year round.

Also, check out Are You a Line or a Space. It’s not a game, really, but a fun activity my students really enjoyed. At their lesson, a student would  choose if they wanted to be on the line or space team. All week as students came to their lesson, I kept score, but I didn’t put anyone’s name down, just the team. That took all the pressure off students. At the end of the week, the team with the most points won. The next week, all the spaces had to do lines and all the lines had to do spaces. That made it more fair, since the spaces are easier, usually! You can read more about it and get all the free printables at the link.

Are You a Line or Space?

If your students are working on rhythmic dictation, and I really hope they are, I made four worksheets to help them get started. There are one measure hearts and two measure hearts in both 4/4 and 3/4 time. In my blog post I explain how this Kodaly method is the best way to teach eighth note dictation.

Rhythm Hearts BeatsMore Rhythm Heart Beats

When you go to the Valentine Page, all you need to do is click on the picture and it is supposed to take you to the original blog post with the directions for the games. If there is a broken or incorrect link, please let me know!

Filed under Games, Texas State Theory Test, Theory, Valentine's Day

Throwback Thursday Steal a Heart

Valentine Music Board Game

Steal A Heart Game

Steal a Heart was originally posted in 2016. I’m reposting it because teachers and students think it one of my best games.

I created this game for a group class I had near Valentine’s Day. It was an older group with middle school and high school age students. I told them it was a game to test the dreaded ledger line notes! But I also included all the notes so I could use it with younger students.

They had a lot of fun playing it, stealing the same cards back and forth and trying to figure out the really hard ledger lines. They laughed a lot and I was glad that I had a game this group enjoyed.

There were really only two problems with this game in the original form:

  • It used a whole lot of red ink.
  • I could never remember the rules!

With that in mind and with Valentine’s coming up, I remade it. I cut the amount of red ink by about 80%.  And the directions to the game are included in the PDF file.

If  you don’t want to use all the difficult ledger line cards, you don’t have to print them because they are on a separate page.

I hope these revisions will encourage more teachers to try it. It works well with any age student and it is lots of fun.

   “I have been playing that valentine game with my students… They absolutely love it from the oldest to the youngest. Yesterday a sixth grader asked his mom if he could stay five more minutes to play it again.” – Linda K.

Objective

  • To review the names of notes on the grand staff.
  • To identify ledger line notes in the bass and treble staves.

Materials

  • Print a game board for each player.
  • Print and cut the small note cards along the dotted lines.

Filed under Games, Group lesson ideas, Note Identification, Valentine's Day

Throwback Thursday – Snowman Bingo

Snowman Note Bingo

Snowman Bingo

Just in time for your holiday piano parties, I am re-posting a favorite Christmas bingo game. This game features a snowman, so you can play it after Christmas, too. I like note bingo games with only 9 notes on a card because the game goes faster. In a group situation the game can be played more than once, so more students can win.

This game includes all the notes on the grand staff. One way to play it with younger children, is to put out a chart with the notes on the staff for them to look out as they play. Or if your group is mixed, let them partner with an older student.

There are 5 PDF pages with 2 boards on each page, supplying enough game boards for 8 students to have a different one.  One page includes calling cards. Print the number of pages you need on card stock and cut in half.

Directions:

Give each student a game board and some bingo chips. Draw a calling card.  If the student has that note on their board, they cover it with a bingo chip. I use magnetic wands and plastic chips, but it might be fun to use white paper circles as “snow.”  The game is over when the first person covers three in a row in any direction.

Variations

  • Play “white out.” Keep playing until the first student covers all the squares.
  • This game can also be played with the student and teacher. Place alphabet cards in a bowl and take turns drawing and covering the notes.
  •  Students who know their notes really well like to play 2 cards at a time.
  •  For an older student who needs to review ledger lines, play a different game.  Instead of using alphabet letters, place a stack of ledger line flash cards in front of the student.  After drawing a flash card, they put a chip on a corresponding note on their game board that is a different octave.

When the game is over, use your magnetic wand as the “snow plow” to swoop up their chips!

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Filed under Christmas, Games, Group lesson ideas

Golden Oldie: Save the Turkey

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Save the Turkey Set 1

Save the Turkey Set 2

Save the Turkey Intermediate

Save the Turkey_Keyboard Version

I tell students that whoever draws the turkey will save it from being turned into Thanksgiving dinner!

Save the turkey is an old favorite fast and fun game that students of all ages enjoy. There are cards for all levels of students, from children who are learning piano keys, to older students who should know all the key signatures! I am reposting the directions to this free game today along with links to print the cards. This is one of those games that is so easy I always forget how to play it. So be sure and print the directions and pack them away with the cards so you can play it next year. That is what I have to do!

Directions to Save the Turkey

Shuffle the cards and put them in a stack on the table. The Skip a Turn cards should be evenly distributed.

Be sure the “turkey” card is not near the top.

The student (player 1) draws a card and identifies the symbol. As long as they answer the card correctly, they continue to draw until they draw a Skip a Turn card. Then the teacher (player 2) does the same thing.

The teacher may answer the card correctly or identify the card incorrectly (on purpose.) With younger students it is a lot of fun for the teacher to pretend they don’t know the answer. If the student knows the correct answer, they take the teachers turn. For older students who are working on time signatures, it keeps them paying attention.

Whoever draws the Turkey card has “saved the turkey” and is the winner. The game is short, so the cards can be shuffled and played again.

I like the fact that even a beginner can win. All they have to do is draw the turkey card! However, along the way, they will be learning or reviewing important musical concepts. Let your younger children win most of the time. They love it and it really helps make lessons more fun. But older students love a challenge!

 

How to Print

Download the PDF to Set 1. In the PDF printer setting, set Print Range to  page 1. You do not want to print 2 pages right away because page 2 is the optional back of the cards. Please note that the backs are only found in Set 1.

Print the first page on sturdy card stock.

If you want to print the backs, re-insert the page back into the printer (so you can print the reverse side) and set Print Range to page 2.

To print the backs to the other levels, open Set 1 again and select page 2. Insert the pages from the other set back into your printer to print the backs. That is a lot of trouble, I admit, so you may want to just leave the backs blank or buy some Thanksgiving stickers for the backs. It depends on how good you are printing graphics.

After printing, cut the cards out along the dotted lines. If you have a lot of students, laminate them.

If you want to keep the levels sorted for easy use with different students, use colored card stock or label the cards before you print them.

Filed under Games, Group lesson ideas, Thanksgiving, Theory