Monday Mailbag – The Treble Clef Game

What a great filing system. I’m interested in the treble clef on the side of the tall cabinet. What do you use it for? A game? counting goals?

This is a much-loved game in my studio! It’s one of the first ones I made and students don’t mind a bit that it’s all constructed of simple, homemade materials.

Here’s a close-up of the treble clef game. The treble clef shape is cut out of white posterboard and orange and blue circles are placed on the treble clef to create a path. Then I laminated it to preserve it. To play, each student places their game token on the first circle and draws a card from the draw pile. If they answer the card correctly, they get to roll the die and advance their game piece.

The dice are made from foam cubes and then I used a black ink pen to draw a keyboard or staff with a different interval on each side. The student rolls the die that corresponds to the color space he is on on the treble clef board. He must identify the interval and then move the equivalent number of spaces (i.e. 4th – move 4 spaces).

Here are a few specific ideas for pre-reading students:
* pictures of a piano keyboard with an “X” to identify the name of the key
* simple rhythm patterns
* note values
* basic dynamics
* pictures of instruments to identify

Here’s a close-up of the simple note identification questions that are included in the deck. For students just getting into reading notes on the staff, you could make cards with all the staff notes and just include a specified range of those in addition to other easier cards. Or you could make it multiple choice. Another fun approach might be to do a series of notes and have the student see if she can identify the word that is spelled. (Click here for a list of Musical Alphabet Words.)

Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!

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