Music Motor Match – A Rhythm Matching Game

A large percentage of my studio right now is beginner/early elementary students.  I like having simple and short games to play with them at the end of the lesson that reinforce concepts we are learning in their books.  Motor Music Match is a game that I created with these things in mind.  Take a look:

The point of the game is to match each car and sign to its proper place on the road where the rhythm value’s names are.  It’s a great game that only takes a minute or two, so it’s perfect for the end of the lesson where you have a little bit of extra time.  It would also work well to keep a copy of this game in your studio’s waiting room area.

When I first tested out this game with a student, he said, “There should be another level where it’s harder.”  That’s when I added the street signs.  :)  So, to follow his suggestion, first ask your student to match the cars.  When they are able to do that successfully, clear the road and add the signs to make the game a little harder.

To download the pdf for this game, visit the Printables > Games page and scroll down to the M’s for “Music Motor Match.”  Enjoy!

Joy Morin is a piano teacher in northwest Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1131 posts here.

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  1. Emily
    Posted 4 May 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I teach cello and elementary music, and i LOVE your website. I have been following your blog for a while and have gotten a lot of ideas from you. You have a great thing going and I appreciate your willingness to share everything- especially the printables.

    My question with this game is when do you start to introduce the concept that a quarter note is not always one beat, and a half note not always 2, and so on? I have been struggling with how to teach time signatures to elementary students because I think the way it is traditionally taught is confusing because we so often teach that a quarter note is 1 beat- but that’s really only in 4/4, 3/4, 2/4 etc. time.

    • Posted 4 May 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      You raise a very good point, Emily! You are right — saying that a quarter note = 1 beat is indeed over-simplifying things a bit. Most piano method books introduce the rhythm values this way, however. When the students get to the point of learning about 6/8 time, then it is explained further. When I teach time signatures to my students (particularly when I’m explaining the bottom number of the time signature), I explain: “The 4 represents the quarter note getting 1 beat, which you already know, right? This will be true for all the time signatures you are learning right now. Later on, this will change. But for now, the quarter note always gets one beat.” My students usually respond pretty positively to this.

      If you are using a method book that teaches 6/8 early on (there are a few of them – but there probably should be more of them because some books wait waaaaaaay too long!), you could still use this game without the street signs if you’d like. Students can still benefit from matching the rhythm values to their proper names. :)

  2. Posted 7 May 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Joy, this is adorable!

  3. Posted 7 May 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Thankyou for another great printable Joy! This will be very useful as our pre-preliminary exam syllabus here in Australia consists of three fun levels called ‘P Plate Piano’ (like learning to drive and getting a car licence) so I have lots of car themed things in my music room :)

  4. Posted 9 May 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    What I love most is that you chose VW bugs. Sorry – I may be a piano teacher, but I’m also a VW enthusiast! :)

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