Quarter Note Hunt

Quarter Note Hunt

Cecilly has a new game called Quarter Note Hunt and I’m posting the directions today. This is such a simple activity and so easy to prepare, that it will be easy to play at a lesson.  It might be good to have this activity ready when lessons start to drag a little. Boys, especially, need to move around some.

The picture above is a set of cards  to go with her game  in case you would like to print them out.   I hope these cards are  what Cecilly had in mind.  It will also be very easy to just  cut up index cards and draw them yourself.

This game can be played with any rhythm value, but the following directions are for quarter and half notes. I went ahead and put in some other note values on my cards, too,  in case you want to play it when they have learned more notes.   Here is the game in her words:

Quarter Note Hunt

Materials: Timer, a basket, and several small cards folded in half with a quarter note drawn on the outside (vary the stem direction)and 1 short dash drawn on the inside. The card is to sit with the open ended side down and the folded side up (like a triangle). The note is on the side facing toward you and the dash on the inside so when the card is flipped up, the dash is revealed.  Also, make several half notes.

Set up: Place the cards all over the room where they can be easily seen, mixing up quarters and halves. I have mine on the floor, on the shelves, on my desk, in the corner of the piano keyboard, on my table, etc.

Objective: to retrieve all of the quarter notes in the time allotted (30 sec).

To Play: at “go” the student begins to hunt for the quarter notes while I play some exciting music on the piano. For each card that is found, the student should bring it to a central location (on the floor, in a basket, on the table, whatever you’ve chosen). So this becomes a back and forth kind of race against the clock. When time is up, stop playing. The student stops hunting and counts all of the quarter notes he has gathered. Take a moment to have him lift the front flaps up to reveal the dash and thus the number of pulses for each quarter.

Variation: Play again, but have student gather all the half notes. Then after play, allow the student to arrange his notes into rhythm patterns to clap and count/play and count on a given piano key.

As new rhythm values are introduced, I just keep adding new cards and having the student race to gather the newest value first. This helps them visually differentiate between all the different rhythm values.

Have fun.

Thanks again, Cecilly!


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8 thoughts to “Quarter Note Hunt

  • Roxane Lee

    Would you mind making some cards with a quarter note rest, half note rest, whole note rest, single and pairs of eighth notes, and dotted quarter notes?

    I played this with my daughter. She enjoyed building a rhythm train with the cards. The next day we made rhtyhm snakes.


  • LadyD

    What a wonderful game, thank you! My piano students love it!

  • Carol Dawn

    What do you think? I like the different directions of the stems on the cards. I thought next time I might add the distinction as a level of complexity. I.e. And which hand do you use to play the note? (up = right hand; down = left hand). It seems an adequate explanation for 4- and 5-year-olds. Or would they get confused since there’s no explanation for the whole notes?

    • susanparadis

      I think for 4 and 5 year olds I would not ask what hand would use the note. I think it is enough for them to just learn that the notes can be turned in either direction. I don’t like them to get to fixated on which stem is left or right, because before long they are reading the grand staff and they have to learn the real rule of stem direction.

  • Carol Dawn

    I did, in fact, try the game with 4-year-olds. I first got out three of the pizzas and went over the notes. Then I put the pizzas on the table. They had to put the found treasures on top of the appropriate pizzas. I didn’t use a timer.
    Both of them loved the game. The girl skipped around everywhere and told her mother afterwards that she had a “wonderful time.”
    After the boy gathered everything, he then said: “Now I’ll tell you what you have to get.” Of course I remembered to get some incorrect notes so he could correct me. A better time was not to be had!
    Thanks very much!!

    • susanparadis

      That’s a great idea to put the notes on top of the appropriate pizzas! We have really been enjoying this game. I’ll have to try it with the pizzas!

  • Cecilly

    Susan, these cards are just PERFECT! Mine were originally hand drawn, but now I’m going to print out yours for my game. Thanks.

  • Carol Dawn

    Thanks to you both for this simple but effective game for beginners. I’m going to try it out tomorrow with two 4-year-olds. Will let you know.

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