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NYU Steinhardt EMAT Teaching Residency
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A Music Relay Race to teach Note Values and how they fit into Measures




4, 3  


Title – Music Relay Race
By – Evelyn
Primary Subject – Music
Secondary Subjects – Math
Grade Level – 3-4
This is good for learning note values and how they fit into measures. I do this with my private piano students and they love it.

First ask the student if they know what a relay race is and explain that they will be the “coach” of the team.

On a sheet of paper (or blackboard) write the numbers 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + across the top, explaining that the race is 4 miles long.

Along the side of the paper, in a line going down, name each of the “runners” beginning with the whole note, and include as many different note values as your grade level can handle. I include the value of each note in terms of how many miles he runs. I.e. the whole note runs the 4 miles alone; the half note runs 2 miles and hands the baton off at mile 3 to other runners that must complete the race. The student “coach” makes the decision as to which note value completes the race.
After we go through the note values (usually up to 16th notes), we clap and count them out.

Then I ask them to come up with 10 measures of different combinations of “runners” that complete a 4-mile race; they have to be able to clap them out and be able to identify which measure I clap.

There are so many combinations as you know and it’s interesting to see how they put the notes together to get 4 beats. Everyone has loved this game!

E-Mail Evelyn !

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