10 Teaching Tips and Games for Using Music Flashcards

Flash cards provide a fun and affordable method of teaching exciting new concepts. Whether playing a teacher-led instructional activity or encouraging cooperative learning activities in the classroom, teaching strategies using flash cards enhance memorization in a simple and effective way. Try these creative teaching strategies and fun flash card music games outlined below in your music classroom today.

1 Music Flash Card Race Game
Line up a set of music flash cards from the Ultimate Flash Card Set face down in a large maze that leads to a single ending, similar to the “Life” board game set-up. Each student needs a game piece, which can be a car, a colorful large button, or other small piece. Using dice, students move their game pieces forward. For example, a roll of 3 will lead to moving forward 3 flashcards. The student guesses the answer for the flashcard. If the student is correct, they go again. If not, they take two steps back and end their turn. The student who reaches the end first wins.

2 Flash Card “I Spy” Game
This fun and educational game uses simple flyswatters and a familiar premise for an energetic music flash card game. Divide the class into groups of five students, each sitting on the floor. Each child needs a flyswatter and a set of flash cards. One member of the group is the leader. The leader places about a dozen or so flash cards in front of the students. The leader may say “I spy a musical symbol that means repeat”. The students in the group slap the correct flashcard with their flyswatter. The student that slaps the correct flashcard first wins that card. The student with the most flashcards wins. As a fun variation, create a final match between the winners of each group.

3. Making the Most of Your Flash Cards
After you print your flashcards on sturdy card stock, take the time to laminate your cards to ensure that they last a longer time. Make several sets of flash cards in different colors or use color schemes to separate different categories of flashcards. Use large print flashcards for students with visual impairments and early childhood activities. Keep a portable set with you for fun impromptu learning activities on a bus or field trip.

4 Fun Jeopardy Flash Card Game
Divide up each set of cards into music categories. Play a fun game of Jeopardy with the entire class, using the flashcards as the “answer” for each question. The team with the most points wins at the end of the game.

5 Early Childhood Flash Card Teaching Strategies
Early childhood educators can use flashcards from the Ultimate Flash Card Set like the Dynamics Flashcards and other sets that do not require reading. One-on-one strategies work best with younger children, who crave attention. Even parents can use the Ultimate Flash Card Set with their youngsters.

6. Fun Performance Teaching Strategies
Play a fun music game called “Music Times 3” with flash cards with your band or chorus. This teaching strategy incorporates performance with memorization of musical terms. Choose a short familiar song, like a march or simple pop tune. Choose three random flash cards from the Ultimate Flash Card Set that involve tempo, dynamics, or Italian terms. For example, you may choose adagio, ff, and staccato. The students then perform the work slowly, very loudly, with short notes.

7. Group Activities
Contemporary education encourages group activities as a positive teaching strategy that enhances communication and learning among students of all ages. Simple flash card memorization games using groups and pairs helps students develop social communication skills while learning key musical terms.

8. Flash Card Rewards
Finding fun filler activities for your classroom is easy with flash cards. Include a few fun sets of flashcards in a colorful box in your classroom. When a student completes his or her work early, or exhibits positive behavior, use the time with the flash card games as a positive reward. Students can play at their desk or with others in a corner of your classroom designed for flash card play.

9. Seasonal Tree Bulletin Board
Make a fun seasonal tree bulletin board, using colorful flash cards as removable “leaves” in your classroom. Each season, change the flash cards. For example, you may use bright green dynamics flash cards for spring or deep red and brown flash cards for the fall.

10. Free Teaching Strategies
If you are looking for more top teaching strategies for music flash cards or for teaching music theory, you’ll find a series of six video ideas here at:http://www.funmusicco.com/primary-elementary-music
Here, you’ll learn some valuable time-saving tips for teachers and loads of other valuable ideas for the music classroom.

But now I want to hear from you!!! Do you ever use flashcards in music lessons? What is your all time favourite flashcard strategy or tip? Please feel free to share your success stories with us using the comments box below.


  • By Ryan Record Reply

    Love this post! Can’t wait to share this great information! I teach a kindergarten music class so this is perfect! Janice, what age group do you teach?

    • By janice Reply

      Hi Ryan,

      I’ve taught all ages from Kindergarten right through to high school. At the moment I’m full time running the Fun Music Company, so I haven’t taught for a couple of years

      Best wishes with your teaching!


  • By Ellen Reply

    As a social warm-up on the first day of school I split the kids into two groups, with each student receiving a card. One group receives a symbol, vocabulary word. The other group has the definition/answer card. They are then instructed to ‘find their match’. Once they are paired off they are required to interview and introduce their partner by name and instrument to the class.(circular seating is best for this.)

    • By janice Reply

      Sounds like a lovely idea Ellen. Thanks for sharing.

  • By JP Walton Reply

    I have had fun and success using a game of Bingo with flashcards. Each student has a card with random musical symbols and notes, and markers. I hold up flashcards with the symbols. The first to fill a row or blackout, whatever is determined before the game begins, wins. Seems to work with all ages, as long as they can follow directions.

  • By nicole doe Reply

    I use a version of noughts and crosses using flashcards
    1.set up chairs so that there are 3 rows across and 3 rows down – 9 in total. (just like a noughts and crosses board if drawn.)
    2. noughts team sits on one side of chairs, crosses teacm on the other. (I usually get one team to wear their hats so that they are easy to differentiate)
    3. each team are given a matching set of rhythm flashcards
    4.when a rhythm is clapped the two children with the same rhythm run to a chair.
    5. winners are the same as in the original game – 3 in a row

    • By janice Reply

      Fantastic idea Nicole- thanks so much for sharing your idea with others.

  • By stacey Reply

    These are some great ideas and suggestions. I have already downloaded one of your programs and am going to download the whole set soon. Do you have any tips to teaching older grades (7/8) since they are new to me this year. I have been k-6 for twelve years and am looking for any help I can get my hands on

    • By janice Reply

      Hi Stacey,
      All I can say for years 7-8 is to try to keep the curriculum areas varied, relevant and interesting. Feel free to sign up for our printable music lesson plans samples and this will give you five free lessons to help get you started.

  • By Mary Cumming Reply

    I teach private lessons and came up with the “Mad Minute Note Challenge” – the kids each have a set of their own flashcards that they use to study over about 2 weeks. Then every 2 weeks I do the challenge with them. I have a sand minute timer and they have to name as many notes as they can in a minute. For each one they get correct I give them a small candy like M&M’s or smarties. We count up the correct number when they are done and then give them the candies. For those that accomplish this feat, I use the flashcards for them to find the key on the piano instead. Once they can do this in one minute, they pretty much know all their notes and where they are on the piano quite quickly. And the candy is a fun bonus!

    • By janice Reply

      Love this idea Mary – Thanks for your contribution.

  • By Lynda Reply

    In response to the question regarding how we use flashcards in the classroom….I have had great success making little, individual cards that fit on the keys of the piano, The cards have the treble and bass clef and staffs along with the note.Each student has an envelope filled with the cards. They happily place them on the keys corresponding to the cards.10 points for each correctly places note.

    • By janice Reply

      Thanks Lynda for your suggestion with little piano flashcards- it’s a fantastic idea. If it’s okay with you, we might even create a video or blog about your idea.

  • By Helen Reply

    Thanks for your ideas!!! I think that they will help me in the class.

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