Just in time for fall lessons… here are a couple of new games to play with a floor staff to drill note and interval recognition (these are way more fun than flashcards!). If you don’t have a floor staff, check out this post and this post for some inexpensive ideas for making one.
Grand Staff TWISTER
What kid doesn’t love Twister? This musical version uses two decks of cards, rather than a spinner.
Before the game starts, decide if students will be playing on the treble or bass clef portion of the staff. Turn over one hand/foot card (in the picture, these are the green cards), and one direction card (blue card) and have the first student move accordingly.
If playing in a group, students will take turns moving their hands and feet around the staff. The last student to fall wins! This game can also be played in a private lesson, with just one student twisting. If they can make it through the entire deck of cards without falling, they’re a Twister Champion!!!
To get the game cards file, click here and scroll down to the “Grand Staff Twister” file. I opted to print my cards on two separate colors of paper. Pages 1-2 of the file are hand/foot cards, pages 3-4 are direction cards, and page 5 is an optional graphic that can be printed on the card backs.
This game is a darts spin-off (a very, very safe-to-play-inside darts spin-off!). To play, you’ll need a deck of alphabet cards (click here and scroll down for a printable set), a floor staff, a beanbag for each player, printable gameboards, and a number of small gemstones or similar markers.
Before you begin, place the alphabet cards in a deck, face-down. Select a player to start. He or she will turn over an alphabet card:
then aim for that line or space on the floor staff (you may choose to designate if the player should toss into the bass clef, treble clef, or anywhere on the grand staff):
After tossing, the player should identify how close their beanbag landed to its target. In this case, it landed on G, a 2nd above the target note of F. After each toss, players mark their results on a printed gameboard with a small gemstone or other marker:
The player with the lowest score at the end of the game wins! You can designate that the game will be over after a certain number of tosses (i.e. after each player has tossed 10 times), or after a given length of time (i.e. after 5 minutes of play).
This game will also work in either a group or private lesson setting. In private lessons, you’ll just be the opponent for your students! I would suggest printing enough gameboards so that each student can have their own.
The gameboard file is available for download here (scroll down to find “Toss-A-Note”).