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Here’s a great lesson/game for learning musical elements


Art, Music  


2, 3  

Title – The Musical Millionaire Game

By – Kenneth E Fox

Primary Subject – Music

Secondary Subjects – Art

Grade Level – Grades 2-3

Concept / Topic To Teach: A fun, simple way to memorize musical elements.

Standards Addressed: Students often have a difficult time learning and recalling elements of music (i.e. Note values, symbols, etc.). This is probably because musical elements are not part of a student’s normal recall.

General Goal(s): Students will be able to recall musical elements and relate them to written and performed music thus, improving their ability to read music.

Specific Objectives: To teach and provide for the instantaneous recall of musical note values, symbols and other important elements of music.

Required Materials:

— One sweepstake-type drum, which is able to hold the names of several students. The drum must be able to rotate, thereby shuffling the student’s names. It should have a door that extends all the way across the drum so as to pick names easily and to discharge and reload name cards quickly.

— Several small index cards for students’ names

— Large cards with printed musical note values, symbols and other testable elements which can be visible to the entire class for their responses (can be obtained at an educational retail outlet).

— Game prizes (pencils, erasers, certificates or bonus homework cards that can be used later or any object that provides a positive reinforcement)

Anticipatory Set (Lead-In): Begin by introducing a few of the large musical element cards to the class. Discuss with the students the names of these elements and how the elements are used in music. For example, one card may display the treble clef sign. Identify the symbol to the students but also show them some music where it is used and how it determines where notes are placed on the staff.

Step-By-Step Procedures: Continue with the Anticipatory Set until the students can effectively identify 4 to 6 cards. Then, place the cards in a bowl and place the student name cards in the drum. Have one of the students or yourself spin the drum and pull out one name card. This type of arbitrary selection of students insures that there can be no bias on the part of the teacher and it involves all of the students equally by giving all an equal chance to participate. Have the chosen student come forward and select an element card from the bowl. Show it to the student first for him to identify and/or explain, then show it to the class for their confirmation. Reward the student if his response was correct and continue this procedure with other students. Upon successive days the teacher may add element cards to the bowl by the same class-interactive procedure. However, the teacher may wish to categorize the element cards according to difficulty and/or grade level. Or, he may group them according to the tasks that are present on the cards. Element cards may also be grouped according to a specific project or program that the class is working on at the time.

Plan For Independent Practice: The teacher can also place the musical elements on a handout worksheet to be sent home with the students for classroom preparation.

Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set): Students will become eager not just to win prizes, but to be given a chance to participate equally in a fun, learning game that provides for all aspects of the learning experience.

Students will learn to:





Assessment Based On Objectives: The teacher can also use planned rehearsal music to demonstrate how the learned musical elements can be utilized.


Kenneth E Fox


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