Thursday, June 2, 2011

Adding a Musical Twist

After yesterday's post, Wendy Stevens of the fabulous, Compose Create asked me to give some examples of games from the book, Great Games! that I converted to music games.  I'm still deciding which ones to use in one of my camps, but here are a couple of ideas you could use in group lessons or your fall kickoff:

1. Matching Animals - this is an indoor game that uses a deck of cards.  Each player chooses an animal to be identified by for the first round.  The complete deck of cards is dealt out (face down) evenly to all players. The game begins by having players take turns turning over a card so that all the players can see it.  The object is to make a match (two 10's, two Q's, etc.) and be able to yell out the animal name of the person who played the original card (not the player who just laid it down) in order to keep the match.  Players are given points for the number of matches they collect in a round. The round ends when all the cards are used.

To add a musical twist:  Use flashcards instead of a regular deck and make pairs (two G's, two A's, etc.).  Instead of animal names, try using composer names - For example, if you are studying Baroque composers with your students, give them names like Bach, Scarlatti, Purcell & Handel.  I'll bet they'll remember those composer names better!  You can also try matching rhythms or matching musical terms with their definitions.

2. Quarter Team Toss - Requires quarters and some bowls.  Divide players into teams of two.  Gather 3 regular bowls (preferably non-breakable) and 6 quarters for each team.  Place the bowls a determined distance from a designated toss line.  Teams earn points by tossing quarters that land in one of the bowls. Greater points are given for the middle bowl. 

To add a musical twist:  Ok...that's a fairly simple game, but how about if we added a bit of a challenge?  Add a few more bowls, label them quarter note, half note, dotted half note, etc., hand your students a pile of pennies (after all...who can afford quarters right now??) and have them build measures.  Give your students a time signature, say 4/4, and have them try to be the first to build a determined number of measures.  Or...set a timer and have them add up the beats to see who can get the most before the time runs out.  This is always a great way to reinforce note values!

3. Over-Under Showdown -Requires two balls (or balloons) and can be done outdoors or indoors depending upon the type of balls you choose and the amount of space you have.  Divide students into two equal teams and give each team a ball.  The teams line up in a single file line about 2' from each other.   The first player faces forward and hands the ball to the player behind him by passing the ball over his head.  The 2nd player then passes the ball to the player behind him by passing it through his legs.  The 3rd player - over his head...etc.  Once the last player gets the ball, he runs to the front of the line and play continues until the player that started the relay gets back to the front of the line.  The team that finishes first wins.

To add a musical twist:  How about working on our tempos?  And let's not worry about making it a race.  Keep the same method, but call out "Andante", "Allegro", "Presto", etc. and of course, you just have to throw in a ritardando or two!  Or maybe change it up by calling out "crescendo" so they have to spread out from the front to the back and then randomly yell "decrescendo" so they then have to tighten their distance back up!  You could also do the entire game to music and have them pass the balls on the beat! 

OK...I could keep going, but I do have lots of lessons today.  I hope this gives you some ideas and maybe helps you to know if this book would be a good resource for your studio.  Have a great day!


Laura Lowe said...

These would be great fun at my group classes! Thanks for sharing!

Heidi said...

I love your creative musical twists. These will great at group lessons!

Brayden Walters said...

These are great ideas. I would defidently use these at group lessons. I would love it if you would check me out at