Ear Training, Games, Group Classes, Music Camps, Printables

Just Added: “Listen & Sign” Game Printable

Just added to the Printables page: “The Listen & Sign Game.”

This printable corresponds to the game originally described in this post – a game I used in a Piano Mini-Camp held about a month ago. 

This game is a nice and quiet game – but still loads of fun! – for students to play.  This game may be best for small groups of students (3-5), simply because you need to print and assemble enough signs so that each student has their own pair of signs (one Different/Same sign, and one Major/Minor sign).

Directions for playing the game follow the assembling instructions below.

Game Objective

  • To develop the students’ aural skills for discriminating “different” and “same” musical examples as well as “major” and “minor” musical examples.

Instructions for Assembly

  • Print the pdf file.
  • Cut out each sign.  Be careful not to cut on the line the long vertical line on the page – that is the folding line!  Only cut along the line that separates the Major/Minor sign from the Same/Different sign.  (See photo at the right to see correct cut-out of the Major/Minor sign.)  Laminating the signs at this step is recommended.
  • Using large wooden sticks, create handles using craft glue or super glue.  If you find wooden sticks that are large enough (sometimes called “puppet sticks”), all you will need to do is glue each stick inside the fold of the sign.  Because I was unable to find large enough wooden sticks to do this, I had to get creative.  =/  To get a better idea of how I created my handles, take a look at the collage picture below.  To create each handle, I used three-and-a-half wooden sticks, layered in the manner pictured in order to increase durability.  It’s not ideal, but it works.  Edit: A better solution is to use wooden paint stirrers!
Click to enlarge.

“Listen & Sign” Game Directions

These directions might seem rather complicated, but actual gameplay is pretty easy:

  1. Give each student a two-sided sign that read, “Same” and “Different.”
  2. At the piano, play two examples of a melody, rhythm, or succession of chords.
  3. Instruct the students to identify whether the two examples were the same or different by holding up their sign with the correct side facing you.
  4. Continue playing pairs of examples for the students.  Sometimes play the examples the same, and sometimes make them different in some way.  Instead of always making the examples different by changing the notes you play, you may also variate the examples in other ways, such as: forte vs. piano; staccato vs. legato; high vs. low register on the piano; etc.  After the students correctly identify each example as same or different using their signs, you may wish to ask the students to explain how the examples they heard were different.
  5. After 5-7 minutes, swap out the Same/Different signs for the Major/Minor signs.
  6. As described in steps 2 and 4, play musical examples on the piano for the students – but this time, students only have to identify whether they are major or minor.  Examples can be melodies, chords, five-finger patterns, scales, arpeggios, etc.

To download the pdf, visit the Printables > Games page and scroll down to the L’s for “Listen & Sign Game.”  I hope you enjoy it!

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