Odds and Ends

Somehow, between returning to teaching lessons, recovering from vacation, and preparing for an exciting workshop this Friday, all of the fun new game ideas I meant to share this week haven’t made it into posts yet. 🙁    But… in the meantime, here are a handful of odds and ends you might find useful, interesting or entertaining:

Musikopoly Incentive Editable Files are Online
For any of you who are looking for a last-minute incentive for the year, and might be interested in the Musikopoly program I used with my students last year, I’ve added editable Word and Publisher files to the Free Studio Aids page in addition to the PDF files.   Feel free to download and customize!!

New Additions to the Flashcards Page
In cleaning out my games closet over the summer, I discovered several sets of gamecards/flashcards that I’ve used for several years, but never posted.  If you visit the Free Flash Cards page, you’ll find a handful of new additions: a set of playing card-sized grand staff cards, 3-way key signature match cards, 3-way sharp and flat note match cards, and a set of bonus cards you can use to turn decks of flashcards into card games or piano key races.

It’s official… I’m certifiable!
Er… make that certifi-ED.   I was excited to find a letter from MTNA when I returned from vacation letting my know that I had officially finished the process and been approved as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music.  If any of you have been thinking about checking out or starting the certification process, I’d be happy to share my experiences with the process and project formats.  Just give me a shout!  

And… Just for fun
Overheard in lessons today:

Student (Watching me as I typed a quick reminder to myself about a piece he wanted me to find for his next lesson):  Wow, Miss Jennifer… you type really fast.  You must text a lot!

Me: Nope.  I play the piano a lot… that’s probably why my fingers are so fast.

Student: You mean playing the piano will make me a better texter??  AWESOME!!!

Silly me… I’ve been going about this marketing thing all wrong…

Musikopoly Rule Booklet (editable-Publisher)
359.5 KiB
Musikopoly Rule Booklet (editable-Word)
54.9 KiB
Musikopoly Gameboard (editable)
Musikopoly Gameboard (editable)
Musikopoly Board2.pub
271.0 KiB
Musikopoly Bonus Cards (editable)
210.0 KiB
Playing Card Bonus Cards
Playing Card Bonus Cards
Bonus Cards.pdf
60.9 KiB
Sharp and Flat Cards
Sharp and Flat Cards
Sharp and Flat Flashcards.pdf
410.7 KiB
Key Signature Matching Cards
Key Signature Matching Cards
Key Signature Match Cards.pdf
117.8 KiB
Grand Staff Cards (Small)
Grand Staff Cards (Small)
Grand Staff Note Cards Small.pdf
157.6 KiB


Odds and Ends — 10 Comments

  1. I am impressed with your creativity! My concern: isn’t this all about extrinsic reward? Will music take second place? I am sure for some students this may be all they need but some students, especially those that will NEVER come into the lesson able to achieve any of the goals, what will it do for them?

    I wait to hear the results in June.

    Sorry to be a damp cloth.

    • Hi Ellen,

      I know teachers who are on both sides of the intrinsic/extrinsic motivation school of thinking… and I think there are some valid points to both sides. Here are my thoughts, for what they’re worth…

      Some of the kids I teach are motivated from day 1, just because they like to play. Incentives don’t really do much for them (although they usually play along, just for fun). On the flip side, like you mentioned, there are the kids that don’t seem to be motivated by anything. Incentives aren’t going to work for them, either. If I’ve got a kid who is meeting NONE of their goals, it’s time to talk to the student and mom/dad to find out what’s going on, and if piano study is really a good long-term option for them.

      I do incentives for all of my kids that fall in the middle. I find that students really develop an intrinsic love of music once they have some level of proficiency. The incentive is just there to help them through the discipline it takes to get there! Many of my kids decide to opt out of incentives by the time they’re in middle or high school, and play purely for the enjoyment of playing (mission accomplished!!).

  2. Thank you for sharing. Really love ur games . But may I ask how do u play with key signature matching cards? Which if ur games can improve student recognition of scales?


    • Hi Kimora,

      We most often use the match cards to play a game of memory. To play, select the key signatures you want students to identify (you might use all of the cards, if you have plenty of time, or just pull out a few sets, if you want to make the game go quicker). Scramble the cards and spread them out face-down on the floor. To make the game a little easier, I usually divide my cards into 3 rows or groups – one for the pictured key signature cards, one for the name cards (i.e. “G Major), and one for the cards that list sharps and flats (i.e. “1 Sharp”).

      Select a student to start. He or she will turn over one card from each pile, and attempt to make a matched set. If they don’t have a 3-way match, they turn the cards back over, and the next student (or teacher) gets a turn. Whenever a player makes a match he or she keeps that set of cards, then is allowed to take an extra turn. The player at the end with the most matches wins.

      If you’re familiar with the card games “Spoons” or “Go Fish”, you can also play these with the key signature cards.

      I don’t have any games that specifically deal with scale construction/recognition, but I do use these manipulatives when I teach my students scales. Here’s a post with details and downloadable cards and a worksheet:


      Hope that helps!!

      Jen Fink

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