Games in the Classroom
Found in: Practicing & Playlists
Carol B., Kansas
I enjoy reading the ECL mails, but don’t chime in very often. I thought I’d share one of my games:
I get “Crazy 8” card games to work on intervals. The students have tokens at each end of the keyboard. When they draw a card they have to move their token by that interval to see who gets to middle C first. They love it at all ages. It helps them visualize the intervals on the keyboard. We also do it on the white board starting at Middle C if using the Treble Clef, or below the staff C if using the Bass Clef. The first one to the top of the staff wins.
Karen G., Tennessee
Each student gets to pick whatever song they want to play. Sometimes I start the game by playing, sometimes I pick a student (although in subsequent rounds, the last student ‘out’ plays first for the next round). They pick whatever song they want and stop whenever they want. Even when the ‘lose’ the round, by not having a place to sit, they WIN! Interestingly enough, sometimes I have to step in to encourage them to STOP! Even those who are the shyest have no problem playing in front of the group when we play this game. That is my focus, just getting them in front of the group playing without thinking about the performance.
It really is a lot of fun…. the kids love playing and the parents love watching. 🙂
Sheri R., California
A teacher asked that I send this to the ECL, which is an outline of ideas to use in lessons that all the teachers at the symposium received. I touched on about half of them during the presentation. Most of it is pretty self-explanatory. If anyone has questions feel free to ask.
What I think would be great would be for us to expand this list with the goal of making it as comprehensive as possible. I’m sure there are so many more ideas out there for duets, improv, games, and composition.
Just throw out your ideas onto the ECL and I will continue to compile them. (By the way, I don’t claim to be the author of this entire list or even most of it–if you see an idea you shared on the ECL, thank you for making it possible for me to bring it to my studio and to new teachers who may not have seen your initial ECL contribution.)
On this list under the heading of “games” (in quotations because we don’t necessarily keep score) I talk about the questions that I ask students from time-to-time that I have printed on strips of paper. (I just print the document and cut them into strips–laminate would be great too.) If anyone has the old version, I made some changes on this, like changing video to dvd, and adding a few new questions. That is attached as well at the request of another teacher who attended the symposium. It is far from a comprehensive list–feel free to add more ideas here too.
Marilyn V., Arizona
Thank you for your outstanding collection of games. Here are a few of my ideas:
This game is an all-time favorite with my students – they ask for it again and again. It is incredibly simple…..
Write the 12 bar blues pattern on whiteboard – this is a teaching moment, too
One student changes the pattern while the others close their eyes (no peeking), e.g. line three becomes V V I I
Teacher hums Jeopardy song (quickly!) as time limit so they don’t take forever
When the leader is ready, the others open their eyes and find the error.
The winner goes to the whiteboard, corrects the error and gets to be the next leader.
Again, it’s INCREDIBLE how they love this simple game. I tell them they can play it at home with their family, but I think it’s not quite the same as playing on the whiteboard at my studio.
…Leader plays one of the three lines of the blues pattern at the keyboard and others recognize which line one with listening skills
…Play the CD and all identify the pattern by using exaggerated hand movements to demonstrate I, IV or V (Think one, four or five fingers). The external speaker will be turned on during this time period of course.
Use 3 x 5 index cards, write one of the 12 symbols on each card. Then, a variety of uses. On a very basic level, sorting into piles of I, IV, V. Use same idea as whiteboard game except using cards or mix them all up, students take turns drawing a card and placing it in position. The ideas just start flowing. I’m a very strong visual learner, so anytime I can incorporate something visual I go for it!!
Original discussion started November 27, 2009