Connect-A-Chord Game

It’s almost group week in my studio again!   Next week is the last groups of the semester, which makes me a little sad – group classes are my favorites!   Since our studio recitals are scheduled for next month, we’re going to be devoting  a good portion of most classes to performing, but will still have time for a few games to wrap up some of our theory objectives for the year.

I’ve recently introduced diminished and augmented triads to several intermediate groups and wanted a fun new way to review them.   One of the challenges I find in teaching monthly group lessons is that by the time students have been in my studio for several years, they’ve played all of my games, so I have to keep finding new ones!

After a little experimenting, here’s what I decided on:

This “Connect-A-Chord” game is a version of musical Scrabble, with a few rules tweaked to make it work with triads.   The goal is to use the lettered tiles to spell chords.   This month, we’ll be spelling major, minor, augmented and diminished chords (in any inversion), but this would also work for 7th chords.   Players place their gamepieces on the board then must name the root and quality of the chord.   Just like Scrabble, they receive points for each tile, plus bonus points for landing on a treble or bass clef symbol.

I did add an extra set of “Free Start” cards to the game to keep play going.  Each player is given 2 cards at the start of the game.  If they reach a turn where they are unable to play using the tiles already on the board, but can spell a triad on their own, they can turn in a “Free Start” card and place their letters on any space on the board.

A PDF file with the gameboard, letter tiles and cards is available for download on my studio website. Both assembly and playing instructions are included (the board prints on 4 pages, then will need to be cut and taped together).

Connect-A-Chord Game.pdf
235.9 KiB


Connect-A-Chord Game — 8 Comments

  1. This is such a wonderful idea! Most of my students are too young yet to take on the study of chords, but I’ll be keeping this game in mind for when they’re ready! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks Jen!!! I love this idea! My students are used to using alphabet cards to play scrabble with different intervals. I emphasize 3rds and 5ths extra…because of their use in chords and understanding music theory in general. This game will be perfect for group theory class to reinforce what is already learned and relate it to chords! Thanks again! eliz +:-D

  3. Jen, After assembling this game and fooling around with it, I thought that a keyboard graphic would be helpful for “computing” chords. I decided to just glue a keyboard graphic to the back side of each of the (p.10 in the PDF) optional game piece hiders. This actually looks pretty nice and gives each student a visual representation of the keyboard right in front of them! Then if I want my older students to have more of a challenge (visualizing the keyboard in their heads as they work) I can just not use the game piece hiders. Just thought you might be interested. Thanks again for this post! My husband and I have had fun playing…and he learned how to build basic 7th chords!

  4. Elizabeth – That’s a great idea to add the keyboards! You’re right – kids do sometimes need that visual. A number of years ago I made up some paper piano diagrams and laminated them and pull them out whenever we play games on the floor. They’ve seen a lot of wear! I ought to dig out that file so I can make some new ones and put it up on the site…. Thanks for the suggestion!

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