Rhythm Cards in 3 Quarter Time

I have had a couple of requests now to do some rhythm cards in 3 quarter time.  I don’t really feel like folding my laundry, so I thought this was a great time to do them. 🙂  Most of the cards only use quarter, half, and dotted half notes, but I threw in a few with 8th notes as well. 

These will work great for one of Cecilly’s new games.  She gives her students several cards with both 3 and 4 beats to a measure.  (Click here for the 4-beat rhythm cards.)  The students seperate them and make a line of music in each time signature.  They can them clap the lines they have created.  It’s a great way to introduce time signatures!

Rhythm Cards in 3/4 Time

If you just want to print out what you need for Cecilly’s Game, then this may be the file for you.

Cecilly’s Rhythm TIme Match-Up Race

Sandpaper Flashcards

Wow, it has been awhile since I have posted! I have been busily working away at many things, but most of them have not been piano related.  🙂


Anyway, here is something I have been wanting to post for awhile. This is an idea from A Galaxy of Games for the Music Classroom.  These are just plain old flashcards with basic symbols, right? Well, not exactly. I laminated the red cards, cut the symbols out of fine-grit sandpaper, and glued them to the cards. The treble clef could have been tricky to cut, but since the sandpaper is rough anyway, I just cut right through the straight line part of the clef to cut the curves. When glued to the card, you can’t even tell!

After a beginning student has learned the various symbols, I tell them we are going to have a test, and they have to name all of the symbols. They usually ace right through that, so I tell them that I need to make it really hard. They have to identify the symbol with their eyes closed. I love their reaction to that! They close their eyes and identify what is on each card simply by touch. What a fun way to reinforce learning!

Here is the pattern I used to cut the shapes out of sandpaper.

Landmark Lines Note Flashcards

I have a couple of students that are struggling a bit with quickly naming the notes.  To help them, I combined some ideas of Kevin Coan, Rebecca, and Cecilly from the Yahoo Piano Teacher’s list, and came up with these flashcards.  Each note’s nearest landmark line or space is highlighted so the student can quickly (I hope!) identify the name and play the note on the piano.  Once they can do that quickly, I will wean them to regular flashcards. 

These flashcards range from the F just below the bass staff to the G above the treble staff.  If there is interest, I will extend them to the notes above and below high and low C.  For now, though, I think these will work great for my students. 

Don’t worry if the lines of the staff don’t look quite straight on the computer screen.  They print out just fine, I promise!

Landmark Lines Note FlashcardsLandmark Lines Note Name Flashcards

Real Rhythm Cards

I made wood Rhythm Blocks of various lenghts to represent the different note values, and thought some paper ones would be good to have as well.  So I made some, and they have been uselessly sitting on my computer.  Today Cecilly posted a great idea about how to use these rhythm cards on the Yahoo Piano Teachers list, and I thought it would be nice to take a minute and upload them.  I am going to mount my cards on lightweight cardboard from cereal boxes, then “laminate” them with 2 inch clear packaging tape for durability.  Hope you enjoy them!

Real Rhythm Cards Black and White

Real Rhythm Cards Color

Dotted Quarter Rhythm Cards

I had a request for some rhythm cards with the dotted quarter/8th note combination that so many students seem to struggle with. Well, here you are! 15 new rhythm cards online, and me sitting here wondering why I didn’t think to do this rhythm combination earlier. 🙂

Rhythm Cards Set 5

Fun Game Ideas

Megan, a piano pedagogy master’s student at Wichita State University, shared some fantastic games. I am excited to try these with my students.

Review Cube:

I made a giant dice by wrapping a styrofoam cube in
paper. For each class I teach, I make 6 cards with the concepts we
worked on in that class or older concepts from past classes. The
cards are held on to the dice with large photo corners (but Velcro
would work too). In the last 10 minutes of class students take turns
rolling the dice and we review the concept that is rolled. Sometimes
I put a different key on each side and students have to play the

Pentascale Spoons:

I was trying to think of a way to teach my class of 8 and 9
year old students how to be more aware of the notes they play in their
pentascales, rather than just playing the 5 notes that sound right. I
found your pentascale flashcards and started brainstorming games. We
ended playing a pentascale version of the card game “Spoons“. I made
a card with each letter name on it and instead of collecting 4 of the
same cards like in the real game, we had to collect all the letters of
a pentascale in any key. Your pentascale flash cards were spread out on the
table to help them know what to look for. When a student won and had
all 5 notes to a pentascale we went to the piano and played it. It
kept all the students thinking about which notes made up the scales
and we had so much fun!


I made keyboard flashcards and staff flashcards. We lay the
cards out on the table and look for pairs of the same note made up of
one keyboard and one staff.

For this one, you can use the note flashcards, and the keyboard cards below.

Keyboard Note Cards

16th Note Rhythm Cards

I had a request for Rhythm Cards that included 16th notes. Well, here you are! This set of cards includes 16th notes, as well as 16th,8th and dotted 8th combinations. There are 39 rhythm cards in all, and they are color-coded for easy sorting and reference. Enjoy!

Rhythm Cards Set 4 Rhythm Cards Set 4




Key Words

Sharon had a great idea for a variation on the word flashcards. Instead of putting the letters on a staff, why not put them on the keyboard as well? Well, here they are. It would be fun to mix the cards together with the other set to really keep students on their toes!

Key WordsKey Word Flashcards





Lets Have a Spelling Bee!

This is another of Sharon’s great ideas. I used Natalie’s list of words that can be spelled with the musical alphabet at musicmattersblog.com to make these cards. One side is the word spelled on the staff, and the other side is the word written out. All words are spelled in both clefs. The lines of the staff don’t look perfect on my computer screen, but they print out beautifully.

Line students line up in 2 teams and have students try to say the word before the other team. Another variation is to show the word side of the card and have students write the word on staff paper or a white board. They could work individually, or race against each other. This would be a great game for a group lesson.  To use in an individual lesson, have students play the words that are spelled on the keyboard.  Maybe they could use a couple of their favorite words to begin their own composition.

Post any other ideas of how to use the cards in the comments below!

Word Flashcards

Word Flashcards





Musical Alphabet Flashcards

Nothing fancy with these! Just cards with the musical alphabet on them. I also included cards with the sharps and flats as well. Great for learning the musical alphabet forwards, backwards, and skipping up and down. Also use them for scales, chords, and anything else you can come up with!

Musical Alphabet CardsMusical Alphabet Cards