Working in teams, students compete against each other to conquer challenges in a minute or less. If they complete the challenge, they earn a point for their team. All of the challenges are put on strips of paper that a student picks out of a bucket when it's their turn.
Here are the challenges I came up with:
Measure Mania – Using note value cards, build 5 measures in 4/4 time and then tap them correctly using rhythm sticksA Word, Please! – Using the magnetic staff board, build 5 words in melodic order
3/4 or 4/4 – Look at cards with full measures of notes on them…Identify whether the measures are in 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures and divide them correctly into two pilesDrop Off – Take a stack of rhythm cards. One by one, race to put the correct note value in the correct numbered bucket (Buckets numbered 1-4) one at a time! Note values used are quarter notes, half notes, dotted half and whole notes. This one is great for a younger student!
Terminology Twist – Spread out terminology definitions together on the floor. On the opposite side of the room, place the symbols on the floor spread out. The player must match them up by running back and forth making pairs.A Bit Dicey – Stack 5 rhythm dice on top of a popsicle stick you hold in your mouth.
Vanilla, Chocolate or Strawberry? – Put ice cream cones together! Scoops have notes on the staff and key names so that match up occurs when you can add two scoops to a cone with a letter name on it! (I printed the cones from D'Nets site and then made my own scoops with notes on the staff.)Do you hear what I hear? – run to the piano/guitar and play a song (chosen by the teacher) strictly by ear.
Magic Carpet Ride – Using a bath mat, inch your way around the note values placed in a cup or cone least value to highest!
One Minute Club – Name all the notes on the staff and play them on the piano in a minute or less!
Dominotes! – Place ALL the dominos in a line, matching the beats correctly! This is a game I own and can be purchased here.
Composer ABC’s – Using a stack of composer cards, put them in alphabetical order!
Wrap it Up!- Using a wrap-up manipulative, have the student “Wrap A Key” correctly!
And, just to add a bit of non-musical fun and laughs, here's a couple I thought my students would love...
Stack Attack! - Stack 36 plastic cups into a perfect triangle shaped structure. Once that’s completed, Player must get the cups back into a single stack.
Separation Anxiety – Using 2 bags of Starbursts candies, separate them by colors in separate paper cups.
I'm sure there are many more you could think of as well! And, because students are only allowed a minute for the challenge, this group activity wouldn't take too long. Just make sure you have all your supplies ready.
There are also ways to change it up. For example, if a player on one team doesn't complete the challenge, the opposing team might want to "Take on the Challenge" and have one of their team members attempt to complete it in less than a minute for the point.
I would love to hear your ideas for other challenges. And your challenge? Not to spend any money but to use what you have in your own studio!