There’s one game that my kids like to play every time we’re stuck in a waiting room situation. Tic Tac Toe! It’s a favorite for kids and really takes little prep, just paper and a pencil. Teaching at the university, I noticed the first year group teacher had made a few note recognition tic tac toe games that my students LOVED. We could play those over and over but they never got sick of them! So I decided to make my own twist on these and try them out with my own students as well as Spring’s students. They were a HIT!!
What concept(s) does this game teach?
Instead of just note recognition, I decided to make these about intervals. There are 3 intervals used in this first set I created – repeating notes (unison), steps (2nds) and skips (3rds). This tends to be what we focus on the first year because it speeds up reading so quickly when students can see the small intervals so clearly in their music. Each interval has a few pages of tic tac toes ready for you. There area also mixed review pages using more than one type of interval. You can practice with finger numbers or with note names. Right or Left Hand is noted with finger numbers on each square so students are practicing moving up and down with each hand from the beginning.
How do I use these pages?
There are so many ways to use these pages! Try it in group classes with paper keyboards or a fun keyboard floor mat. Pull it out at the piano in private lessons. Say the finger number out loud or play the note with the right finger. Have students race to play and say the correct note name. With young beginners, the note name pages can even work on a xylophone (like my daughter used in Kindermusik classes).
For my Tic Tac Toe copies I printed then laminated each page. Next I pulled out my 3 hole punch and created a binder to keep them in order. We can pull a sheet out in a lesson for a quick game that gets brain cells working or I can send them home with a student for a week and let them challenge parents or older siblings. This is so much more engaging than flashcards yet we’re practicing interval reading so it’s a win-win!
We’ll be sharing another level soon but I couldn’t wait to get these in our shop! Summer is my favorite time to look ahead and prep materials I usually don’t have time to get ready.
How do I get this game?
Here’s the link to the page in our shop. Thanks for your support!
We hope you enjoy this new game! It’s been such a fun resource in our studios, we can’t wait for you to enjoy it too!
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 4DPianoTeaching.com