Steal A Heart Game

I created this game about five years ago 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 them on the dreaded ledger line notes! But I also included all the notes so I could use it with more 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%. 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. And the game directions are included in the PDF file, so you can print them and keep it with the game.

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

It can also be modified for use in a private lesson.


  • To review the names of notes on the grand staff.
  • To learn 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.


  • Place a stack of the little heart cards face down in reach of everyone.
  • The first player draws a  card, names the note, and places the card on an empty heart on his/her game board.
  • Give students time to figure out the note.
  • If a student draws a “Steal a Heart” card, he may take a heart card from the game board of the person on his right, but he must name the note he is stealing.
  • If he draws a “Be Mine” card, he puts it over a card he has already placed on his board to protect it, and then draws another card. The other players cannot steal a card that is “protected”  with the “Be Mine” card.
  • If the player draws a “Give my Heart” card, he gives one of his cards to the player on his right, who must name the card before he can accept it.
  • Feel free to modify the rules or change the way the game is played.
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10 thoughts to “Steal A Heart – A Valentine Game Revised

  • Jay

    Thanks Susan, this was very popular with out music school even after valentines, good stuff!

  • Dana

    Susan, this is such a great, fun and cute game. I played it with a few teenagers using the ledger line cards and we had so much fun. We agreed we will do it each lesson for the month of February so they can get sharp on ledger line note names. But, it could definitley be used all year. I will also use it with all the rest of my students drilling all the “regular” notes. Thank you so much, we love it!

    • Susan Paradis

      Thanks, Dana. It has been one of my more successful games!

  • Colleen

    Thank you SO much for sharing this. I used this in private and shared lesson time this week and last, leading up to Valentines’ Day. Such a good review, with simple rules. The kids really enjoyed it. (PS. I found it better to cut the little hearts around their heart shapes, not the dotted lines.)

  • Barbara

    Hi Susan,
    I have a quick suggestion for extending this game. It would be great if you had a page of the heart cards that were blank so teachers could put in other music elements along with the notes. Let me know if you decide to offer that:) But my students are having a blast with it just being notes, too. Thanks

    • Susan Paradis

      That’s a great idea, Barbara. I’ll try to remember that next year!

  • Thanh Gelauf

    Thank you so much. Please accept my small donation to support your amazing work and effort.

  • Hulda Budilestari

    I enjoyed your games! Thank you so much, Susan.

    • Susan Paradis

      You’re welcome, Hulda!

  • Barbara

    Such a cute game, Susan. The students will love playing this even in a private lesson where they will get to “steal” from the teacher! Thanks so much for this.


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