Something’s Missing Rhythm Game

Many thanks to all of you who came out to the KC Federated Teacher’s workshop on Tuesday!  I hope you enjoy perusing some of the hands-on learning resources on this site (as well as others) as you look for creative ways to engage your students!  For those of you a little too far away to join us at the workshop, I’ll be sharing a series of “Sensory Spotlight” posts over the coming weeks, highlighting some of my favorite multi-sensory activities for the music studio.   Stay tuned!

But first…. here’s a new game I used with my late elementary students at their last group lessons.  We’ve been working on dotted quarter – eighth pairings this fall.   It turned out to be a very timely review lesson right before we dug into our yearly Christmas repertoire – SO many Christmas tunes use that particular rhythm pattern (Silent Night, The First Noel, Frosty the Snowman, etc.).

We called this “Something’s Missing”:

Students picked a gamepiece (we used small gemstone markers), and placed it on the starting space.  They took turns drawing one-measure rhythm cards and identified what one missing note (quarter, eighth, dotted quarter or half) would complete their measure, then moved their gamepiece to that note on the board.  Here are some sample cards:

The first student to the end won!   This game does take a while, so might be on the lengthy side for private lessons.   You could easily use the game cards on their own as flashcards for a quick review.

You can download the game file from my studio site (scroll down to find the file).  The gameboard prints on 2 pages.  To assemble, trim the inside margins, then laminate each side and attach with clear shipping tape.  The last page of the file contains an optional graphic to print on the backs of the gamecards.

Something's Missing
Something's Missing
Something Missing.pdf
404.1 KiB


Something’s Missing Rhythm Game — 9 Comments

  1. Hey Jen,

    Great game idea! This actually gave me an idea for a Christmas camp game, so thanks! 🙂

    First idea is making measure cards with Christmas melody rhythms (may need a couple measures for this to work well?) and students figure out the missing rhythm.

    Second idea is doing the game aurally so you play a Christmas melody on the piano and they figure out the missing rhythm.

  2. Hi Jen! Absolutely LOVE your games 😀

    I played this one with two separate groups of my students. We had a little difficulty when it came to finishing the game off so we came up with this idea:
    When the players got to the second last dotted crotchet (second last yellow playing circle), we went into ‘finish mode’. The next card that player drew after going into ‘finish mode’ which landed them on the following blue, green, purple or yellow circles on the game board, meant that student won the game.

    Of course, the student before them could pick up a ‘skip’ card etc so we never knew exactly who would win.

    For the Skip card, we added “Skip the next player and move yourself to the next dotted crotchet”.

  3. Pingback: Holiday Music Camp – Beginner and First Grade (Violin) – 1 hour | Denley Music

  4. Hi Jen,

    I just came across your website while I was googling for some fresh, fun theory teaching ideas for my studio here in Alaska. What a glorious find!!! Thank you for sharing your ideas and materials.

    • Hi Gretchen,

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad you stumbled on the site, and found some things you could use. I hope you and your students enjoy. Thanks for dropping me a note!

  5. Just found your website…..many great ideas. Thank you. It is so wonderful to find those of you who are willing to share your great creativity to enhance the teaching of those of us who can’t do what you seem to do so easily.

  6. Just printed this one for my upper elementary Montessori students. I used green cardstock for the duple meters and yellow for the triple. I love your games – thanks for all you do!

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