Shamrock Keyboard Race

Shamrock Keyboard Race

Shamrock Keyboard  Gameis  for students who are just learning the notes on the keyboard, or you can play it with anyone just for fun. I got the idea from Cecilly’s Sharp and Flat Race to Middle C. I like to have a variety of seasonal and holiday activities available because I think it adds something and keeps piano lessons from becoming predictable.  While these cards are fun around St. Patrick’s Day, I use them all during the year. I also have Pumpkin Keyboard Race cards, and various other holidays.

Print out both pages on card stock and laminate them for durability. Cut out the cards and give one set to the student The other color is for the teacher or another student.  Both players sit on the piano bench. Shuffle the cards  and put a deck on each side of the piano and give each student a pawn. I have found that a removable eraser makes the perfect pawn. It’s not too big and doesn’t fall off the keys.  Each player takes turns drawing a card and moving their pawn.  The player on the right side always moves to the left and the player on the left side always moves to the right , with both players moving toward middle C. The first player to pass middle C is the winner.

Here is a picture so you can see how well a pencil erasers work as a pawns. You can buy an inexpensive pack of many different colored pencil erasers. Mine only cost $1.00 for a large supply. I use the yellow and green erasers for this game. I keep the erasers with the cards so I can use them quickly.

You may run out of cards before you get to middle C, so you can turn the cards over and start again, or you can print out more cards and play past middle C and down to the other end of the keyboard.

I added an F# and Bb card to the deck, just in case you want it. It is a good way to introduce the two accidentals that are used first in a lot of method books.

Students will always want to play again, so switch sides and try again. This is a quick game, it doesn’t get the student too excited, and really does teach help them learn the keyboard. It is a good game to play if you have a minute or two left before the next lesson. If you have an older student, try Cecilly’s Sharp and Flat Race to Middle C.

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3 thoughts to “Shamrock Keyboard Race – a fun keyboard game for St. Patrick’s Day

  • Carol Dawn

    This is the absolute favorite of the first- and second-year younger students! They never seem to tire of it.
    Thanks so much to you and Cecilly!

  • Joanne

    We are having such fun with this activity. My little ones love it and want to play it over and over! Thanks.

  • Carol Dawn

    Like the sound of this game. Any chance of getting a German H in each color? Thanks.

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