In planning for group lessons this month, I found myself looking for a fun way to introduce/drill interval qualities in my intermediate level groups. The interval tower game was such a hit last month with my elementary students last month, I decided to adapt it and use it again.
I used the same deck of interval cards (they can be downloaded here), but for older students used only the cards that showed intervals on the staff. It just so happened that all of the cards I had made were major, minor or perfect (no diminished). The first student to play drew a card and identified the distance, then added that many blocks to our tower. The student then identified the quality and adjusted the tower accordingly:
Perfect Intervals = Add an extra block
Major Intervals = Do nothing
Minor Intervals = Take away a block
As an example, a student who drew a perfect 5th would start by adding 5 blocks, then add a bonus block because it was perfect, for a total of 6 blocks. A student who drew a minor 3rd would start by adding 3 blocks, but then take one away, for a total of 2 blocks.
When I played this with my elementary students, I had each student build his or her own tower, just to head off any conflicts over accidental knock-overs. But, for my older students, building a group tower was the best part of the game. To win, a student had to be the last one to complete his or her turn before the tower toppled. Everyone quickly figured out that the crazier their piece of the tower, the harder the next player’s job! Throw in a little architecture challenge, and once-dry intervals become a lot more fun!