New Year's Game

New Years Game

Have you ever had a student return from the holidays and sadly inform you that they had been out-of-town and didn’t open their books the entire time?  I usually turn it into something funny, like, “I can’t believe that they don’t allow you to bring pianos on airplanes anymore!” or something equally silly. One student thought I was serious and wanted to know if we could do that in the old days. That might have been the same student who thought I rode a horse and buggy to piano lessons.

If your student is a beginner, pull out this New Year’s game, and after this brief review of music symbols and vocabulary, you can get back to work at the piano!

This game is very much like the Birthday Game. [The art is the same, but the Birthday Game is a 3-level note-identification game, including ledger lines. If you have older students, you might want to give it a try.]

Below are two ways to use this activity, but please feel free to make up your own rules.


  • Beginning piano students.


  • New Year’s Game board.
  • Star cards cut into circles.

Directions for Student/Teacher

  • Print only one copy of the game board. You and your student will use the same game board.
  • Place the circle cards in a container.
  • Each player will choose a color of star to cover. For example, the student will cover the yellow stars on the board, and the teacher will cover the blue stars.
  • Players take turns closing their eyes and drawing a card from the container.
  • After drawing a card, the player identifies the symbol and places the card on the correct symbol on the game board.
  • If young beginners do not know the answer, help them out because we want the student to be successful.
  • The object of the game is to cover all of one color of stars on the game board.

Alternate Activity

  • The student draws all the cards and identifies them as they place them in the correct spot.
  • You can time older beginners to see how long it takes them. Some students freeze when they are timed, but others love it.


  • To review music vocabulary words and symbols.







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6 thoughts to “Throwback Thursday • New Year’s Game

  • Phyllis Pan

    Thank you for sharing all your board games. My students love them. Suggestions for the new year hat game……have different sets of colored circles for different levels?
    Happy New Year!

    • Susan Paradis

      Phyllis, check out the birthday game, where the different levels are color coded!

      • Phyllis Pan

        Cool! I could combine the pieces on the same board. Thanks. : )

  • Adriana Moraes

    I loved it. Thank you.

  • Linnea Good

    Susan, I love what you do! Thank-you for opening the world of games for off-the-bench learning. I have a suggestion for you: In your board game, could you add a page in which the instructions for the games are all written out. This could become the back side of the game board, or a board on its own. I have been cutting and pasting your game instructions (because Memory is a thing of the past at my age!) and printing, but I know you could do a nicer job. A thought. Happy New Year!

    • Susan Paradis

      Linnea, thank you for the suggestion. I’m not sure I can go back and do all my old stuff, however!

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