Category Archives: Group lesson ideas

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.


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


  • 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 – Christmas or Music Vocabulary Words

Christmas Tree Vocabulary

Christmas or Music Vocabulary Color

Christmas or Music Vocabulary B&W

Today’s Throwback Thursday is Christmas or Music Vocabulary, a fun worksheet for music classes. It is a good thing to pass out in your Christmas group lessons while you wait for everyone to show up. It is also a fun party activity for students to work on together. I made a black and white version for classroom teachers to pass out in music classes. However, the color version doesn’t use as much ink as it seems to because the tree is not solid green.

And don’t forget, you can always print one copy and slip it inside a clear plastic page protector. Then use a wet or dry erase marker on the page protector. Plus, when you put it in a page protector, it makes it easy to store in a binder so you can find it later!

On this worksheet, the Christmas tree is strung with various words. Some are words from Christmas around the world. Others are music vocabulary words students should know. There is one word which can be both. Who will be your first student to discover that an “ornament” is a musical embellishment as well as something you put on your tree!

I first posted this 7 years ago. Where has the time gone! If you printed it back then you might notice I listed one word two times, and that has been fixed!

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Filed under Christmas, Group lesson ideas, Holiday Activities and Worksheets, Worksheets

Jingle Bells with Rhythm Instruments – Free Download

Jingle Bells Duet with instruments

Today’s post is a throwback of a free arrangement of Jingle Bells that I made a few years ago for a Christmas group lesson.  The score includes a short piano solo with a very easy left hand only duet part for piano and parts for rhythm instruments. The individual parts for rhythm instruments can be printed for each instrument so students can get a little taste of what it is like playing in a band or orchestra.

I was planning on posting this last week, but life interfered. Not only do I have a brand new grandson, but in the process of changing servers, my site was down for a while. The baby is great, so cute and cuddly, and this site is working better!  When you have a site this big, with so many huge files and years and years of material, any change seems to create a big problem, and when you fix one problem, it causes another one. I’m not technological by any means!

If you are having group lessons this week or next, there is still time to print this for your students. The rhythm instrument parts are for beginners and no practice is necessary.

The piano part also stands alone as a piano solo without the duet or the rhythm instruments. Or you can use a piano part out of a Christmas book.

The easy one hand duet part (which is actually an accompaniment) can also be played on an electric bass, a keyboard, melody bells or any other tuned instrument that sounds good with your piano.

What I like about this arrangement is that there is something for everyone, so if you happen to have group lessons with all levels, every student will have something to do.

I also thought this would be fun for a musical family to play when they get together for the holidays. If you don’t have any rhythm instruments, improvise with whatever you have around the house! I use my set of rhythm instruments frequently in my teaching, but especially around the Christmas holidays!

Filed under Christmas, Group lesson ideas, Holiday Activities and Worksheets

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.


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.


  • 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!


Filed under Christmas, Games, Group lesson ideas