Here’s one thing I like to do when filling in. I’m a studio teacher, so this is a game for a one on one situation. I get the student to give me the piece they know best, then I play it for them with mistakes (eg: a couple of wrong notes, a wrong rhythm, a wrong dynamic, etc.) They have to see if they can find the mistakes. (If you have a photocopier in your room, which I do, you can photocopy the page and they can circle the spots as they hear them) The kids like the challenge of this, but of course, it only works if they know the piece quite well. Another thing I like to do to test how well they know the piece, is to give them a piece of blank paper and see if they can write out the rhythm of the first bar (or 4 bars or phrase). It really makes them think about how much attention they’ve been giving to the piece.

I also had been meaning to email you with a game I made up using the key signature cards. (I was getting desperate with my upper primary/early secondary kids with exams coming up!)I printed out the key signature cards from your site(just the fronts with the staves) and then made up TWO more sets of cards, one with all the major names and one with the minors. The way the game works is that everyone is dealt six cards and the goal of the game is to make a set of three cards, a set consisting of the key signature and both its major and relative minor names. Each player in turn draws a card from the deck and then discards a card from their hand. The players can either take a card from the top of the discard pile or the face down remainders pile. The game ends when one player has put down all their cards. (they should have two sets if they were dealt six cards) It works pretty well and I think it really helped them in remembering relatives. I think it would probably work b!

etter with two of everything, especially if you have a lot of players. I’m also going to try it with the extra rule that you can take ANY card in the discard pile, but you have to pick up all the cards that are above it too. (I’m sure you know similar card games that use this rule) I hope this makes sense, and that maybe you can add it to your games pack, you would only need to adjust the pdf file that has the flash cards so that the major and minor names were on separate cards rather than on the same card. You’re clearly good at dreaming up names, unlike me, so dream up a name for it! :-)

Submitted by Katherine Barnett