Great Games for Note Reading

This idea came from Natalie on the Yahoo Piano Teacher’s List, and I just had to post it here as well. These are some great ways to teach note reading that I can’t wait to try with my students. Read on for Natalie’s instructions:

“I just learned how to make note reading FUN! Kids forget it’s theory
and learn quickly through enjoying the game.

Are you dreading teaching identification of notes on the staff? How
would you make that fun?

Well, I just figured out a great way and thought I would pass it
along to the rest of the teachers in the world!

Materials Needed:

1. Construction paper for cutting out quarter notes and half notes

2. Either a plastic table cloth (plain) or anything that the permanent
marker can write on and is large enough to walk on.


Draw a staff on your plastic table cloth with the permanent marker
large enough to fit your foot in-between the spaces and large enough
to see your feet standing together on the line.

Draw a treble cleff to resemble learning notes on the staff in the
RIGHT hand.

On construction paper draw quarter notes and half notes. Quarter
notes are in Black, half notes are in white. Or you can make all
notes quarter notes and just use different colors. Make notes large
enough to put on the huge staff on the table cloth. Write letter
names of the musical scale on each note. Laminate so they last longer.

NOW, there are three different games you can play with this:

GAME ONE: Jumping in spaces and on lines. Yell out a letter and both
of you jump on the right note. Say the corresponding word (ex.
E=Every B=Boy Etc.) Start at the bottom and go up, and then challenge
going backwords. If jumping becomes tiring you can just step. IF note
name is incorrectly given, you must start over from the beginning.
When student can get all the way through without your helf, a prize
will be given if wanted.

FACE rhymes with SPACE! Do the same thing as you would for the lines.

Make it challenging by mixing up lines and spaces.

GAME 2: Have student choose a note on the piano and then have them
find it on the huge staff. Have the pick up a quarter note or half
note out of the pile next to the staff (it has to have the right note
name) and place it on the staff. Then have them replay it. For young
children guide them to pick notes from middle C above. For older
students you can create a Bass staff as well as a treble staff and
they can choose notes from all over.

Winning Game 2: When all notes have been correctly placed a prize
will be given.

GAME 3: Make a song from the notes and then have student try and play it on
the piano. If all notes are placed correctly and student plays
correctly then they win!

These games are fun played in groups and children would love this
playing with their friends.

THIS WORKS!!! One of my young students already is extremely familiar
with the note names on the staff and ENJOYS this activity. You’ll
love watching the kids have fun and be excited they are learning it
so quickly.”

Thanks Natalie for these great ideas!

2 Responses

  1. your site is fantastic. thank-you. I have also used this tablecloth idea to play musical note twister. With two spinners (one for feet and one for hands) with left B and right C and left A and right G etc etc on the spinner children love to play twister on the huge stave… I have used a heavy blanket with tape for staff lines instead of the plastic which crinkles a lot easier when you walk on it.

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