Ice Cream Interval game

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Being able to read notes on the staff intervallically is crucial for sight-reading.  I like to tell my students that reading music is at least 80% interval reading, and only 20% note identification.  To help my students learn to identify intervals quickly upon sight, I created the Ice Cream Interval game.  

I created this pdf in Photoshop and Microsoft Publisher, using the png Music Symbol files available for download here — they work wonderfully for projects such as this!  The music part was easy — creating the actual ice cream shapes was a much more complicated process.  But I’m pleased with how it turned out.

When you purchase the Ice Cream Interval Game pdf from the Shop, you will receive a pdf with 60 different ice cream scoops, the ice cream cones printed “Unison” through “Octave,” and 4 blank ice cream cones.  The pdf also includes instructions for two different games to play.

The first game is simply to identify the interval on each ice cream scoop by placing it on the correct cone.  This game can be played with one player during a private lesson or in the waiting room area, or it can be played non-competitively with a group of students.  The students can either take turns identifying intervals, or they can simultaneously sort the intervals until the cards are gone.


The second game is a competitive game for a group of students.  Each student receives a blank ice cream cone.  On their turn, they must draw a scoop card and identify the interval.  If the student answers correctly (the other students may check his/her answer), they may add the scoop to their cone.  If s/he answer incorrectly, the scoop goes to the bottom of the pile and the student loses their turn.  At the end of the game (after an allotted amount of time or when the scoop pile is gone), the player with the most scoops on their cone is the winner.


If your student has only learned the smaller intervals, you can sort out the appropriate cards in advance.  I used this game last Saturday with my piano students, and I removed the 6ths, 7ths, and Octaves so that we could play both games with just Unison through 5th.


The Ice Cream Interval game is available as a digital download for $8.  My students enjoyed this new game, and I predict it will become a studio favorite!

I’ve also created a fun little freebie sample, perfect for preschoolers or other young beginners.  The scoops in the freebie are limited to 2nds and 3rds on the keyboard.

Ice Cream Intervals sample

You can download the freebie on the Printables > Games page, by scrolling down to the I’s for Ice Cream Interval game.  You can purchase and download the full version here in the Shop.  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 1142 posts here.

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  1. Drema
    Posted 6 May 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Adorable! I really like how they can add to the scoops in a group~

  2. Susan
    Posted 6 May 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Great Idea Joy !!

    Love the colors and graphics :)

    Thanks as always !


  3. Aletta
    Posted 7 May 2013 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    So inventive!! So original!! Sure it will be a hit with your students!!

  4. Posted 11 September 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Love your fresh ideas and agree with the importance of learning intervals. I will be downloading this game and look forward to more great ideas.

  5. Jodi
    Posted 14 April 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    This game is the perfect warmup to sight reading. Gets kids thinking in distances rather than note names. ALSO I use it with a regular Twister game board, taping the cones to each row. I shuffle the cards for the intervals we’re reviewing. They identify the interval and I spin the spinner. They love it, but it only works with ONE player because there is only ONE possible place to put your hand or foot (ex. Right Hand on Red 5th)

  6. Posted 12 August 2015 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Wow! This is lovely!
    My students would do well this game. Thank you for sharing.
    You are a great teacher. You need to publish some books on “music methodology.”

    All the best! :)

  7. Rachel
    Posted 12 November 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi Joy,

    What kind of paper did you print these on? Thanks!

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