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5 Music Games To Kick Off The School Year With Your Students

5 Music Games To Kick Off The School Year With Your Students http://www.connollymusic.com/revelle/blog/5-music-games-to-kick-off-the-school-year-with-your-students @revellestrings

Coming back to school after the long vacation is tough, and it can be hard for teachers to get students back into the learning zone after weeks of summer fun. However, you can make the transition a little easier by kicking off the school year with some fun games in your music class.

The following five, easy classroom games not only reinforce National Music Standards, they will also help you break the ice with your students and help develop a comradery among your groups.

Each music game is designed to be utilized for any elementary or intermediate age classroom. You’ll just need to alter the information to meet your specific needs. It’s also fun to include prizes like “smarties” candies (pun intended).

Game #1: Spinner Notation Game

Materials Needed: For this activity you’ll need a spinner that features the names of notes, rather than numbers, and another that names the values. You can easily (and cheaply) make them using this template. Print off the one with eight wedges, using card stock paper, and attach the arrow using a paper brad. Use markers to decorate the spinner, or make this a class project and make a few sets. The letters of the notes go on one spinner (A-G), and the written names of the values go on the other (half, whole, quarter).

You’ll also need a large chalkboard (and chalk) or a white board (and dry erase markers) that has a few non-erasable staffs drawn on it. The staffs only need room for a few notes (electrical tape on a whiteboard works great).

Instructions: The idea is to create a race. Insert clef symbols on the staffs, and divide your class into teams, three or four is fine, or however many “staffs” you have available. Each team sends a member to the board, you spin the spinners and each student has to create the notation on their staff. Whoever finishes first, wins the point, and the next person in their group takes their turn. The team with the most points after a certain time period is the winner. You can increase the difficulty (for advanced students), by playing a recording, and having the students discern the length and pitch from it.

Game #2: Staff Twister

Materials: You’ll need a cheap shower curtain (Dollar Tree), electrical tape, and the “letter” spinner from game #1. Make a gigantic music staff using the electrical tape on the shower curtain, or with masking tape on carpet.

Instructions: Forms teams with your students and follow the regular directions for Twister, only instead of colors, you use the lines and spaces on your “staff” twister pad.

Game #3: Go Fish (matching game)

Materials: You do need quite a bit of materials for this game, but they don’t cost a lot to create. Print out a number of fishbowls and fish. On each fishbowl’s staff, notate a series of notes that form a word. Write the word on one of the fish.

Instructions: Place all of the fish and fishbowls on a large table. Form groups with your students. One group goes to the table and you time how quickly they are able to match all of the fish to the right fishbowl. Print out templates for this fun music class game, here.

Game #4: Scavenger Hunt Icebreaker

This icebreaker game is a great way to encourage communication. It’s even better when you participate.

Materials: You’ll need to create or download a scavenger hunt worksheet for everyone in music class. The items on the list should include things like:

  • Favorite type of music
  • Instrument you play
  • Do you like to sing?
  • Favorite musician or band
  • Do you listen mostly on your iPod or the radio?
  • If you could meet any musician from any time period, who would it be?
  • What’s your favorite song?

On the first column, leave space for the personal answers, and on the second column, leave a blank space.

Instructions: Students fill in their answers completely, and then move around among each other finding people with the same answers. This fun exercise also helps you understand your student’s personalities a little better, and allows you to celebrate any unique qualities and interests they may have.

Game #5: Rhythm Relay

Materials: You’ll need some small portable white boards and dry erase makers. Enough to have one for every three students in class. Also, some rhythm Flash Cards.

Instructions: Form groups of three. The “reader” comes to the front and views the flash card. He goes back and whispers it (using ti-ta, or 1&2&) to the “middle man,” who relays it to the “writer.” The first team to have written the rhythm correctly wins that round. The players switch places and do it again.

Music class games will help make the back-to-school transition a little easier.

Violin being played