Lady Bug Game Board
LadyBug Game Cards
This is one of my favorite games. It’s fast and fun and I think it’s a good game to play this time of year. I’ve revised it and remade the keyboard cards.
- I suggest printing the colorful game board on photo paper and then laminating it so the colors really come to life. It can also be taken to an office shop. MTNA members, use Office Depot/Max and receive a big discount.
- Before you print the cards, decide which pages you want to use. Please don’t print all the pages at once because the last page is the optional backs.
- Print on card stock. They do not have to be laminated.
- There are 5 pages of cards.
- Pages 1-3 are notes on the staff.
- Page 4 has keyboard cards.
- Page 5 is the optional back of the cards. After printing the cards on pages 1-4, insert the pages back into your printer to print the back of the cards. Please see my FAQ for a tutorial on how to do this.
- This game can be played with students or teacher and student.
- Each player has a token.
- The cards are placed face down next to the game board.
- The first player draws a card and moves their token forward along the path to the closest letter that matches the note on their card.
- The next player draws and moves in the same way.
- The game is over when someone draws a card that takes them to the last G or any note after the last G at the end of the path.
- There are many games you can play with this game board. Use your own ideas and I hope you have fun!
- To learn the music alphabet.
- To learn to recognize notes on the grand staff or keys on a piano keyboard.
- To reinforce learning steps and skips.
- Early childhood and elementary ages.
Why I like this game
- It’s fast, under 3 minutes, students always like it.
- Children learn faster if they are having fun.
- It’s a great game for beginners to learn piano key names.
- The game is so fast, you can play more than once.
Shamrock Keyboard Race
This is a game I made up to learn piano keys. I got the idea from my friend Cecilly who told me about her similar game to learn sharps and flats. I changed it around for learning piano keys, made some cards, and it kind of took on a life of its own! It has become a staple for piano teachers all around the world.
Keyboard Race is played on the piano keys. It’s fast and it works! As a matter of fact, I like it so much that I’ve made a lot of different variations for each season and even baseball cards! I’ve even made cards with an H instead of a B for German teachers. Check out the links at the bottom of this page.
Since these cards are not particularly cutesy, they are good for older beginners.
- To quickly identify piano keys
- To identify middle C
- Optional: To identify B flat and F sharp
- Piano keyboard
- Keyboard Race Cards, one color for each player
- Two tokens • Collectable erasers will not damage your keyboard and I have an extensive collection of cute erasers.
- 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.
- 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.
Here are links to the game using different cards:
Baseball Keyboard Race
Pumpkin or Leaves Keyboard Race
Snowflake Keyboard Race
Reindeer and Elves Keyboard Race
German Shamrock Keyboard Race
If any of these links don’t work in the future, use the search engine on the right. A Google search will produce results, also.
Bats and Cats Game
If you have a group lesson coming up or you are looking for a Halloween game, here is one I posted a few years ago. I’m reposting it today in case you have forgotten about it. A lot of teachers think this game is just for beginners because the game board has only easy note values. But there are 3 sets of cards for this game, and each set gets progressively more difficult. The third set has 16th notes beamed with 8th notes which is in the 4th level books of most modern method books.
Print out just the levels you want to use. The first page has directions to the game, so there is no need to print that page on card stock. This game looks really lovely printed on photo paper, which I buy at Dollar Tree. At 8 pages for $1.00, it is very reasonable and really makes the color pop out. I also laminate the game board. Be sure to print out more than one page of the rhythm cards if you use this with a group.
[Last year I made a companion to this game, but for notes instead of rhythm. Students enjoy it, too, and I also made keyboard cards for beginners to use with it. You can find the note game here.]
Directions to Bats and Cats Rhythm Game
- Print two game boards, one for the student and one for the teacher. If playing with a group, print one game board for each student.
- Print out the bat rhythm cards on cards stock and cut them into squares. If playing with a group, print more cards. Using your printer’s settings, print the cards with the rhythms that are appropriate for your student and omit the rhythms the student has not learned.
- Divide the cards equally among the players or use a common stack for the cards, depending on how many cards you use.
- Players take turns drawing a card, counting the rhythm, and placing it over a corresponding rhythm on the game board. If a player draws a card with the corresponding rhythm already covered, place it in a discard pile to be shuffled and used again.
- The game is over when the first player covers all 9 squares.
Step Skipping Along Game
I believe this is the first “computer-made” game I posted on my website to share with others. It has been downloaded many times by music teachers all over the world. When I originally made it, I didn’t know how to combine PDF files into a multi-page document and I’ve always intended to fix that.
So I finally did! While I was at it, I remade the art on the game board and the step and skip cards. Styles change, just like clothes, and I learn how to do things better.
I also reduced considerably the number of cards that go along with the game. Plus, I made the new cards to fit business card size card stock, which so many teachers have asked me to do so they don’t have to cut anything.
If you have never printed the old Step Skipping Along game, you might want to try out this new version. The directions are very simple. Even so, it is a helpful game that helps students recognize steps and skips quickly, and that makes them better sight-readers.
- To recognize seconds, thirds, and repeated notes on the bass and treble staff
- All students who are working on steps and skips on the staff
- Game token for each player
- Game Board printed on card stock
- Step and skips cards printed on business card stock, or cut if printed on regular card stock
- Optional cards with written instructions
Directions for 2 players
- The first player draws and identifies a card as a step, skip, or repeat.
- If it is a repeated note, the student stays in the same place.
- If it is a third, the student moves his token forward, skipping the note next to the one he is on. Skips will be to notes of the same color.
- If the note is a second, the student moves his token forward to the next note. It will be a note of a different color.
- If a student draws an (optional) card with text, he follows the directions.
- The first player who reaches “finish” is the winner.
- The optional cards with written instructions speed up the game if you have very limited time.
Why I like this game
- The directions are easy and I don’t forget how to play it.
- It focuses on one skill: reading steps, skips, and repeats.
- It is a very fast game that a teacher can play with a student in less than 5 minutes
- It is good for all ages of beginners.
[Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you buy something from my Amazon store, I earn a few cents, which helps support the website. Also, it is a way for me to show you what product I am referring to.]