Ten Fabulous Ways to Have Fun With Your Musical Notes

Playing an instrument is great fun, whether it be in a group eg orchestra, rock band, flute choir, or by yourself. When you first begin you get introduced to the musical note and information about the musical note. This includes note length, note names, how to read the note on the page and how to play the note on your instrument. As you progress these musical notes start to make sense… or do they? To help the learning process try these ten fabulous ways to have fun with your musical notes.

1. Flashcards: This is a game where another person eg teacher, friend, shows you a card with a note on it and you have to give an answer. The card could be a note drawn to a specific note length where you have to say how long it is or its name The card could be a note drawn on the five lines called a stave, and you will either say the note name or play the note on your instrument. The answer you need to give will be either written on the card or determined by the teacher or other person. Flashcards can be bought or homemade.

2. Memory: This is a game where all the cards are turned face down on a surface and each person in turn has to turn over two cards and find pairs. If a pair is found, that person has another turn. The person with the most pairs wins. In Note Memory the two cards do not look the same as in the Memory game you may have played with a pack of playing cards or a picture version. Two examples of pairs in Note Memory are:

~ a picture of a note on the stave and its answer eg A
~ a picture of a note length and its answer eg 2 beats

3. Dominoes: This is a game where you divide up the number cards and then have turns at placing cards in the middle of the surface and linking up pairs such that each card will be joined to the previous one. Each turn involves a person linking cards until they cannot.The person who gets rid of their cards first is the winner. The cards will have the same information as in memory in that the pairs will be a question answer form, but each card will have two pieces of information ie a question eg picture of note length and an answer (not the answer to the eg note length, but a different answer). The idea is to find the relevant question to the given answer, or answer to the given question, from your cards.

4. Rhythm Games: This game resembles the children’s party game ‘musical chairs’. Hence it is more fun with a group of people rather than a one to one situation of teacher- student. Each sits or stands in a circle and are given a card with a rhythm on it ie a series of notes with varying time lengths. Music is played from the teacher or another source like a DVD player or computer. Each person passes a clap or a noise round the circle. The music will be stopped at intervals throughout the game. When it stops, the person who is clapping or making a noise has to clap the rhythm on their card. If they need help someone else can give it to them and this is how they can learn. This person then gets another card. The game continues until people wants to stop or the teacher decides.

5. Creating a Rhythm: You can create a rhythm using the notes you know so far. A teacher can give you criteria such as using at least one of the note lengths learnt so far and how many notes or bars to write.

6. Creating a Composition: You can create your own tune with the notes you know so far. One idea is to use the rhythm created in 5. and at least one each of the notes you have learnt.

7. Pass the Note: This is a game where each person in the group each has a turn at playing one note at a time. You may end up with a great composition. A variation of his could be to have turns at writing a note with a note length down.

8. ‘Chinese Notes’: This is similar to chinese whispers in that you pass a made up rhythm or tune tho the next person and they have to clap or play it and pass it on round the group.

9. Exchanging Pairs: This is suitable for a more advanced student than a beginner and in a one to one situation.
One person plays two bars of something made up. The other person responds to these two bars with an answer of what could go next. This could be done by exchanging fours or any number of bars as determined by the two people involved.

10. Playing your favourite tunes on your chosen instrument: Find a friend and play duets. These are great fun and the instruments could be the same or different.

You have just read about Ten Fabulous Ways To Have Fun With Musical Notes. Give them a go enjoy having a great time with your musical instrument.