YOURWhile it’s not hard to explain or understand the concept of pickup notes/measures, it seems like many method books bring it up once and then forget about it for a while. At least my students have forgotten about it until that theory worksheet or new supplemental solo brings it back. I realized the other day that I don’t have a game to review pick up notes! So I’ve been brainstorming how to make one and today I’m sharing it with you!

You’ll need to print these 2 files to have all the cards and rules of the game.

Pickup Measures

Unfinished Measures

If you want to be able to tell between the cards even more easily, you may want to print the files on two different colors of cardstock. For example, I printed all of my unfinished measure cards on white and changed to a light blue colored paper for my pickup measure cards. And I love laminating everything so they’ll last for years to come. Also there are enough cards for up to 3 people to play so you may want to print 2 sets of pickup measure cards if you want to play with more people.

Be ready for some crazy racing to lay down the correct card(s) when you play in groups! My students have loved it and we also had everyone count/clap the cards as we played for more rhythm practice.

*Side note: there are two finished measure cards included in the unfinished measure stack. You may want to warn your students that a few cards don’t need any help. I require students to tap the card still to win it so it’s a race to see who figures it out first. Good luck!

Author: Whitney

Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at