Tag Archives: piano games

Step Skipping Along Game Revised

 

Step Skipping Along GameStep 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 When I originally made it, I didn’t know how to combine PDF files into a multi-page document and I’ve always intended to fix that.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.

Objective

  • To recognize seconds, thirds, and repeated notes on the bass and treble staff

Ages

  • All students who are working on steps and skips on the staff

Material

  • 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.]

17 Comments

Filed under Games, Steps and Skips

Baseball Keyboard Race

BaseballNoteRace     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.

Objective

  • To quickly identify piano keys.
  • To identify middle C.
  • Optional: to identify B flat and F sharp.

Materials

  • Piano keyboard.
  • Keyboard Race Cards.
  • Two tokens (Inexpensive erasers will not damage your keyboard.)

Directions

  • 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.

2 Comments

Filed under Games, Music Printables, Note Identification

Let’s Learn Scales

 

WholeHalfStepKeyboard

Printable Keyboard (for Scales F-B)

C Scale Keyboard (New)

Last year I posted a game, the Whole Half Step Game, that I developed to construct scales on the piano keyboard. Recently, I made a paper keyboard using the same colors as the game so it will be a set. Students often have trouble transferring knowledge from one skill to another similar skill. I’m sure you’ve noticed that in your teaching. This paper keyboard is big enough so that students can use manipulatives on it to construct scales. At the bottom is the whole half step pattern for major and minor scales, as a reference.  

I’m sure you creative teachers can think of a game to go along with this printable. Please share if you do!

Before you use either of these materials, be sure they understand the difference in a whole and half step.

As a bonus, this keyboard is so large that it works well on the iPad!

So what comes first, a paper keyboard or a real keyboard? Generally, a real keyboard works best for most children. They need to go from concrete to abstract. However, some children benefit from getting away from the piano. All of us learn differently, so a multi-sensory approach is a good thing. If they don’t get it one way, try another! It’s worth remembering that when they do theory worksheets, they will not have a real keyboard, so they need to learn how to transfer information.

By the way, the Whole Step Half Step Game, which I posted about a year ago, is an excellent game to teach scales.  It’s colorful and fun, and it really teaches the concept of how to construct a scale. I know my directions seem hard to understand, but give it a try, because it’s really very easy.

Whole Half Step Game to Learn How to Make Scales

Whole Half Step Game to Learn How to Make Scales

Whole Half Step Game

Both are these files are free downloads.

You will need to have the latest version of Adobe Reader installed on your computer, which you can download free here. I am not affiliated with Adobe in any way, so I am just posting this link to help you out.

 

10 Comments

Filed under iPad Ideas, Music Printables, Theory

Are You a Line or Space? A Quick Valentine Activity!

 

Are You a Line or Space

 Are You a Line or Space

I am always looking for something different to do with my students, to shake things up a bit and add some fun to piano lessons.

I put a sign on my front door, “Are You a Line or Space?” This made them curious and got them interested. They all had no idea what I was planning on doing, but they have come to expect that piano lessons are not going to be the same-old thing.

I printed two staves with either line or space notes shaped like hearts. Since Valentine’s Day is coming up,  I used that as a theme.

I told them I was doing a musical experiment on lines and spaces. I explained there would be two teams, the Lines and the Spaces,  and I wanted to see which was the easiest for students. They could choose their team or pick a line or space card from a bowl to be assigned a team. I have some students who would take 10 minutes to decide, and I need to move fast in piano lessons, so picking from the bowl turned out to be a time saver for those indecisive or aprehensive students.  

 I sat them down in front of either a line or space card. While I timed them with my phone stopwatch, they placed a bingo chip on each note as they called out the name of the note. 

It didn’t take long, and students were allowed to try several times, so I could write down their fastest time on the printable I made to record the times. The more practice, the better, and everyone wanted to try it several times.  Even so, it took less than 5 minutes.

Many of the students decided to be on the “space” team, because they said spaces are the easiest. That was fine with me. What they don’t know yet is that next week I’m going to post the Are You Ready to Switch poster, and we are going to switch sides!

I hoped to have time to made ledger line cards, but I didn’t. However, you could use my mini-ledger line flash cards and accomplish the same thing. Spread them out of the table and play the same way.

Yesterday I shared this activity  with my Facebook Group, Piano Teacher FunMakers. I really wasn’t planning on blogging about it, because it’s kind of silly, the clip art is from other things I’ve made, and the printables were hastily made to get it done before my students arrived!

But, it has turned out to be fun and I wanted to share. I told teachers  I would get this posted in time for them to use it Monday, if they wish, so here it is. If you start Monday, you will have 2 weeks to play it before Valentines. Hope you have fun with it! I know we are!

 

15 Comments

Filed under Games, Note Identification, Valentine's Day