Animal Alphabet Memory Match
My students love memory games. Maybe it is because I have such a bad memory I never win!
I made this game for a student who is learning the notes on the staff around middle C. You might notice the illustrations are the same I’ve used in a lot of beginning activities. [A few years ago I wrote a set of short songs for each of these animals and the links are at the end of this post.]
- The object of the game is to match the alphabet letter to the correct note on the staff.
- Open the PDF in the latest version of Adobe Reader.
- Print the first page on card stock.
- Re-insert the first page into your computer and print on the back. (You might need to practice how to print on the back using scrap paper.) There is a tutorial in my FAQ page about how to print on the back of PDF documents.
- Laminate the cards for durability. Cut them along the dotted lines.
- Place the cards face down in a 4 x 4 grid as shown above.
- The first player turns over 2 cards. If they match he keeps them and takes another turn. If not, it is the second player’s turn.
- The second person continues in the same way.
- The player with the most cards wins.
- To identify the names of notes located around middle C.
- To improve visual memory skills.
- Young beginners through ages 7 or 8.
Grid to Help Young Children Play Memory Games
Young students often have trouble playing memory games because they don’t realize after they look at a card they have to put it back in the exact same space. I use this grid, glued to the file folder that holds the cards, to help them put it back in the correct space.
Memory Game Grid
Animal Alphabet Songs Teaching Beginning Notes
A is for Alligator
B is for Bears Playing Baseball
Pat the Cat
Dogs Eating Doughnuts (The Doughnut Mystery)
E is for Elephant
Frogs Wearing Flip Flops
G is for Giraffe
Don’t forget the cards that match notes using clothes pins. These are a fun manipulative for preschool children.
Compound Meter Bingo Boards [print in landscape orientation]
Compound Meter Bingo Calling Cards [print in portrait orientation]
One of my students looked wistfully at a game I had out and sighed real big. He said, “I know, I’m getting older and can’t be playing games like I used to.” He looked so pitiful and sad. I have to remind myself that games make learning theory more fun for all ages, not just my younger students. Take rhythms in 6/8, for example. Just about every student needs some extra help with compound meter. In this game there are plenty of 16th notes and rests to challenge students in 3/8, 6/8, and 9/8 time signatures. If your older students are taking a music theory test this spring, here is a good way to review rhythm for the test.
Teachers are always telling me I don’t make anything for older students. Actually I do, but material often gets hidden inside the files and becomes hard to find. I’m going to try to make the intermediate material easier to find, if I can think of a way. I have a new search category, “Older Students” but it will take me time to go back through all my posts and add it, so be patient. Suggestions are always welcome!
By the way, the 3/8 time signature is not compound meter but simple meter. However, I needed another row and it was either 3/8 or 12/8, so I went with 3/8.
Print the game boards on card stock in landscape orientation and laminate, if desired. Print the calling cards on perforated business card stock for 2 x 3.5 sized business cards.
- To review rhythm patterns in 3/8, 6/8, and 9/8 time signatures
- Older students who have been introduced to the time signatures and 16th notes and rests in the game
Number of Players
- Two to six players, plus the teacher to draw and play the rhythm cards
- Game may also be played by one student and teacher
- Game board and rhythm card printables
- At least 9 bingo tokens for each player
- Print the game boards on card stock in landscape orientation. Laminate.
- Print the calling cards on perforated 2 x 3.5 business card stock in portrait orientation. Separate or cut the cards.
- Mix the cards up so that the time signatures are mixed evenly.
- Give each player a Bingo board card and tokens.
- The teacher draws a calling card, tells the students which time signature it is, and plays the rhythm.
- If the student has the rhythm, he covers it with his token.
- The game proceeds with the teacher drawing cards and playing the rhythms.
- The first player to cover all the squares on his board is the winner.
- To play with student and teacher, each player takes turns drawing and tapping the rhythm on the card. If that rhythm is on his card, he covers it with a token.
Why I Like This Game
- It is a good game for group lessons with teens.
- Students like Bingo games and this give them rhythm confidence.
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Rhythm Race Game Board
Intermediate Rhythm Race Cards
Easy Rhythm Race Cards
(I reposted these files to include the “sentence” cards that I accidentally left off. You will need to reload the page to see the new files.)
Rhythm Race is a quick game for 2 or more players. I made the game for students who are learning to count more difficult rhythms, such as dotted eighth notes and triplets. Students count the rhythms on their card, and then move to a note on the game board that equals that value. After my intermediate students played Rhythm Race, I noticed they were noticeably improved in their ability to count difficult rhythms.
I designed this game for older students, but when some of my younger ones saw it, they wanted a version, too!
The cards are designed for a business card template, but you can use card stock and cut them out. I found a good deal on photo paper at a discount store, so I laminated that for the game board, and it really pops out the colors.
Print only the front (the rhythm cards) for the level you need. Then reinsert the cards and print the back design, – the cards with checkered flags. I find it necessary to have the backs of each level a different color so I can quickly get the correct cards ready for a student.
If you are playing with different ages in a group lesson, students can draw from their theory level and still play together.
- To review rhythms, including dotted eighth notes and sixteenths notes
- Grades 1-7, using the appropriate level cards
Number of Players
- Two or more players. The teacher can play with a student, or students can play in a group lesson
- Game board and rhythm card printables
- A small token for each player
- Print the game board. Print the cards on one side and then Mui and print on the back of the cards. Separate or cut the cards.
- Mix the cards up so that the sentence cards are mixed evenly with the rhythm cards.
- Each player puts their token on “start”. The first player draws a card and counts the rhythm. Moving clockwise, the student moves his/her token to the first note on the board with the same value as their card.
- Decide how many “laps” are need to win. One lap takes about 5 minutes. Remove some of the penalty cards to speed up the game.
- Players take turns drawing cards and moving their token on the board.
- If all the cards are used, shuffle and keep playing.
- The first player to pass “start” is the winner.
Why I Like This Game
- It doesn’t take much lesson time.
- When I play this game with students, I discover right away what they know and what they need work on. So it is like a worksheet or achievement test, only a lot more fun!
Composer Memory Game
Would you like your students to learn a little bit about famous composers, but you don’t have a lot of lesson time? I’ve made a set of composers you can cut out and glue on the inside of a milk caps. I used card stock and Elmer’s ‘Extreme School Glue Stick’.
If you don’t have a set of caps available, ask your piano parents to collect them for you. My students really enjoyed bringing the caps to me. I have enough now to last as long as I teach piano!
If you don’t have caps, the printable is made with a cutting grid, so you can cut out the composers as small cards. However, my students really liked the milk caps and thought they were a lot of fun, so I encourage you to make them that way.
I had a hard time deciding which composers to include. If I’ve left off your favorite classical composer, leave a comment and when I get enough suggestions, I’ll make a second set! Stick to the old composers because the portraits of modern composers are protected by copyright, although I can use just their name and not a picture.
An important part of the game is for students to say the composer’s name as they turn over the cap to help them learn the correct pronunciation. After a while, they will be saying Tchaikovsky and Chopin like a pro!
- To become familiar with the names of the great classical composers.
- To learn how to pronounce their names.
- To reinforce visual recognition skills.
Number of Players
- Two or more players. The teacher can play with a student, or students can play in groups.
- Sixteen plastic beverage caps (lids) the size of milk jugs.
- The PDF printable included in this post.
- Scissors and glue stick to construct the playing pieces.
- If caps are not available, the cards can be cut out and used.
- Print and cut out the pictures of the composers, cutting them in small circles that fit the inside of the lids.
- Glue the composer pictures on the inside of the plastic caps.
- Place the caps on a table, face down, with four rows and four columns and the composer face not visible.
- Players take turns selecting two caps and turning them to the picture side to see if they match.
- Students say the names of the composers as they turn the caps.
- If the two caps are the same, the player gets to keep them. If not, they return the caps to the same spot, face down again.
- Play continues until all the caps are matched.