This is a fun board game to teach students rhythm values.

Rhythm Round About

Today is Thursday, and that means it’s Throwback Thursday! What better printable to repost than the best board game you can find to help students remember rhythm vocabulary. Plus it is FREE, because I want all children to have joyful piano lessons. I originally posted this in 2011 and it has consistently been one of the most popular games on my site. Yes, there is a UK version for all my friends in hemi-demi-semi land. (I love to say that.)

Rhythm Round About is a great game for those students who can’t remember rhythm names or get them mixed up.

We all have those beginning students who are young and just can’t seem to remember what notes are called. I noticed that my students could remember how many beats the notes get, but couldn’t remember the names: quarter, half, whole, etc. This is especially true for rests.

 I wanted a fun activity that would only take a few minutes of lesson time, and this is what I came up with. Rhythm Round About moves along quickly, and if you have a few minutes left at the end of a lesson, you might be able to play it several times.

Print two or more pages of these cards

I found that printing 2 pages of the “direction card” PDF is enough for a teacher/student game. The cards might run out, but shuffle them and keep going.

I made the cards for this game to fit 2″ X 3 1/2″ business card templates, and I really like the size and the fact that I don’t have to cut out anything. If you don’t have any blank business cards, my PDF also contains cutting lines.

Since I love graphics, I usually make a colorful back for my game cards. If you need to save ink, you don’t have to use them.

This is the optional back of the cards. You do not have to use it. Read the FAQ for instructions.


  • The printed game board and direction cards.
  • One token for each player to move on the game board.


  • Print the game board and teacher direction cards. I print the game board on card stock or photo paper and laminate it.
  • Put the teacher direction cards in a stack, face down.
  • Players place their token on “start.”
  • Players take turns drawing a card and moving their token to the corresponding note.
  • You determine in advance how the winner will be selected. It may vary. I do not usually require they have to draw a whole note to win.
  • With young children it is fine to let everyone win. The object is music education, not a life experience.
  • If they lose, they often shut down and do not want to play again.


  • To reinforce the names of rhythm symbols.
  • To learn through play.


  • Students love board games.
  • This is a very fast game.
  • Beginning students can play.

If your students have enjoyed this game over the years or have a special way to play, leave a comment!

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One thought to “Rhythm Round About”

  • Joanne Tadych

    Susan, even though your game is 7 years old, it is terrific. I have a student who broke her right wrist. Instead of playing her music, we have been playing games for three weeks. Your interval worksheets have been great. She is left-handed so she can still write. Tomorrow we will play Rhythm Round About. We have been playing a lot of your other games. It has been very helpful concentrating and focusing on notes, rhythm and intervals. Thank you for all your sharing through the years.


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