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This game is for helping students memorize note names




4, 5  

Title – GAME-Notation Racing: memorizing note names
By – Tom Hitt
Primary Subject – Music
Secondary Subjects –
Grade Level – grades 4-5
Notation Racing

Purpose- to practice memorizing the names of the lines and spaces of the treble (or bass) clef staff.

RULES for “Notation Racing”
Set up: Have students in two teams-the number per side does not have to be the same. I like to arrange chairs in an open area, but split the 2 teams. Try to set it up so that all students can see what’s happening at all times.

Materials: Felt board (or colorforms board, or bulletin board, etc.) with a treble clef five line staff, One musical note for a marker, Large board to cover felt board, Two different sounding percussion instruments (I like to use a wood block and a jingle stick).

The Game:
Front two students are first (They are seated in the “Hot seat” marked in diagram with an H). These students are given 2 different sounding percussion instruments to use as a “ring in” buzzer.

Teacher places one note on the five line staff without letting the contestants see. When the cover is removed, contestants are to “ring in” when they think they can identify the note.

As soon as a student rings in, teacher covers the board- student who rings their bell first must answer immediately. If the first contestant does not give the correct answer, the board is uncovered and the second contestant may look at the note and “steal” the answer. At the end of each round, the teams rotate; the 2 contestants move to the back of the row for their team and the next two students in the front come forward. Teacher hides the board and places the note in a new position on the five line staff.

Answers shouted out by teammates disqualifies that team for the round and results in one point for the opposition.

SCORING: First to ring in + correct answer- 2 pts.
Second team steals + correct answer- 1 pt.

In the case of simultaneous ring ins, a new note is placed for the same contestants. Teacher always decides who rung in first!

High scoring team wins. (I like to play first team to 15- then we can fit 2 or 3 rounds in per 40 minute period.) The first time you play it, you might place an “answer key” nearby that the contestants can see during the game. Then remove it half way through a game! This really gets the brain working.


Contestant must identify the note type.

Contestant must identify the note name and the note type.

Place two notes- they must both be identified correctly and in the correct order (left to right).

Add sharps and/or flats.

E-Mail Tom Hitt !

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