Baseball Keyboard Race
This game is absolutely the best way to identify the piano keys quickly. Even if you think you don’t have time for games in your lesson, you have time for this one! It’s fast and fun.
When I posted my first keyboard race game, I had no idea that using erasers to learn piano keys was going to become so popular! From the beginning, my goal has been to revolutionize piano lessons into something more fun and engaging by using hands-on activities that are educational. The fact is, children of all ages retain information and learn faster when the learning medium is fun.
I have never posted keyboard cards for this time of the year. I have pumpkins, elves, shamrocks, and snowflakes, but nothing for the spring and summer. So here they are! As a bonus, this game coordinates with the Let’s Play Ball worksheet, so you can use them together. It takes me so long to draw something, I like to use the art again!
For those of you who are new to teaching, here are the directions to the game. I don’t use the cards with the sharps and flats for beginners, but they come in handy when students get to that point in their music education.
- To quickly identify piano keys.
- To identify middle C.
- Optional: to identify B flat and F sharp.
- Piano keyboard.
- Keyboard Race Cards.
- Two tokens (Inexpensive erasers will not damage your keyboard.)
- This is a two-player game, usually the teacher and student.
- The teacher sits on the right side and the students sits on the left side of the piano bench, at each end of the piano. The students chooses if he/she wants to play with the “glove” or “baseball” cards.
- Each player has one set of cards and one token, and places the their cards on the piano book rack. Shuffle the cards well.
- The first player turns a card and moves his token to that piano key, the closest to his end of the piano. The second player does the same.
- Play continues with each player drawing a card and moving his token toward the middle of the keyboard.
- The game is over when one player passes the middle of the keyboard. I like to use middle C with my young students.
- Note: The player on the right side (treble end) usually loses, so that’s where I sit. Games are more fun for students if they win.
Why I like this game
- My students love it and want to play it over and over.
- It is the fastest and most fun way to learn keyboard names.
If you want to see cards for other times of the year, here are some links.
Pot of Gold
I’ve been testing out my new elementary level St. Patrick’s Day game, Pot of Gold, and it is fast and fun! It is a board game, where students answer a music question, roll a die, and move their pawn.
This is a big file so it might take some time to download. There are 8 pages, including 6 pages of elementary level cards: keyboards, notes, vocabulary, intervals, and key signatures. If you like to print a colorful back to your game cards so they look more professional, I included that, too. Scroll through all the pages included in this file and only print what you want. If you don’t know how to print the back to the cards, check out the FAQ at the top of my blog.
However, there is a little secret to this game. It is very much like my Thanksgiving game, Chasing the Turkey. So if you have already printed the cards to that game and you are in a hurry or want to save ink, you can use the Chasing the Turkey cards. I made this set of cards because I like to keep the game boards and cards together so I can find them quickly.
I printed the game board on card stock and laminated it, but I did not laminate the cards. I separate the cards by level before we play. I store board games in folders with pockets that I buy on sale at the beginning of the school year. On the inside of the folder, I glue the rules of the game because I forget the rules!
One of my older students was watching his brother as we played. “Hey, you’re giving him the answers,” he said. Then he quickly said, “But I guess if you don’t, he won’t learn anything.”
“You’re exactly right,” I said. The purpose of this game is to learn, and if he doesn’t know the answer, I help him out so he will!”
- To review previously learned musical symbols, intervals, key signatures, the notes of middle C position, and some music vocabulary words.
- To enjoy a seasonal game.
- Grades 1-4, using the appropriate cards for the concepts students have learned.
- Game board.
- Cards printed with various musical symbols and terms.
- One die.
- On pawn for each player.
- The game can be played with two or more players.
- Print the game board and cut out the cards.
- Each player puts his token on the game board. The first player draws a card and answers the question. If he doesn’t know the answer, give him hints until he gets it correct.
- Then he rolls the die and moves the number of spaces on the die. If he lands on a circle with instructions, he follows the instructions, such as taking a short cut, or moving back to Start.
- The game continues in the same way with the other players.
- When playing with a pre-school child, let him win most of the games so he will want to play again.
- The first player to reach the Pot of Gold is the winner.
Save the Turkey_Keyboard Version
Mr. Turkey here. My boss, Susan Paradis, made another version of the popular game, Save the Turkey. I think it’s a great game, because what’s better than a turkey? By better, I mean handsome and smart, not tasty. Anyways, play this game just like the other Save the Turkey games, which I don’t have time to link to. But you can do a search and find them.
I’ve noticed that when Susan plays this game with young children she does something odd. Sometimes, if it is her turn, she tells them if they can run to the piano and play the key on her card, they can take her turn. And all this time I thought she knew her piano keys. Maybe if she plays this game enough she will learn them! Meanwhile, she has to ask the children to help her out.
Click on the link (under my handsome picture!) to print the cards. There is only one page and it doesn’t use much ink. Take it from me, Mr. Turkey, this is a fast game that children love!
Shuffle the cards and put them in a stack on the table. Be sure the Turkey card is not near the top. The Skip a Turn cards should be evenly distributed. Player one draws a card and identifies the symbol. As long as they answer the card correctly, they continue to draw until they draw a Skip a Turn card. Then the teacher (player 2) does the same thing. Whoever draws the Turkey card has “saved the turkey” and is the winner. The game is short, so the cards can be shuffled and played again.
Bats and Cats Keyboard Cards
Yesterday, when I posted the Bats and Cats Note Game, I said I would make some keyboard cards. I had no idea there would be so many requests for the keyboard cards, really too many for me to email. So I’m posting them here. To print, select the caption below the graphic above.
After I made the cards, I noticed they are in portrait orientation, not landscape like the board game, so set your printer accordingly.
I hope your beginning students enjoy it! And thank you so much for all the encouraging comments about this game! It is really great to feel appreciated!
Don’t forget the Bats and Cats Rhythm Game! Bats and Cats Game