Trick-or-Treat! Rhythm Game

New! The Trick-or-Treat! rhythm game is FUN way to start out your lessons for 4-6 weeks around Halloween time. It’s so easy: just pull out the cards you’ve assembled, and put some candy or treats in a bowl. Your students will be thrilled to see you present this game every year. Your students will have a blast — and you’ll see their rhythm skills improve.

How does the game work?

Playfully inform your student that you have a bowl of treats — but that they must EARN their treat by playing a rhythm game. 🙂 Choose the appropriate deck for your student (Levels 1-4). Explain to your student: There are TRICK cards and there are TREAT cards. When a TREAT card is drawn, the game is over and it’s time to choose a treat. When a TRICK card is drawn, the student performs the rhythm on the card and then draws again.

All four levels of cards contain rhythms that are in duple meter and triple meter. The rhythms get progressively more advanced with each level. The easiest rhythms contain only quarter notes and eighth notes (or, macrobeats and microbeats, to use MLT-based terminology). The more advanced levels contain sixteenth-note combinations, ties, rests, and upbeats. The leveling information is detailed clearly for the teacher on a cheat sheet.

The first week you present the game to your students, I recommend starting with Level 1 (even if they can handle more advanced rhythms). Over following weeks, you can bump up to the next levels or stick with the same level if more practice is needed. This approach really works! You’ll be impressed with how your students do from week to week.

Students will draw an average 4 or 5 rhythm cards before drawing a TREAT card. However, if you decide you’d like the game to last longer, simply remove one of the TREAT cards from the deck.

Here are a couple of game variations I use with my students:

  • YOUNG BEGINNERS: Instead of asking the student to read the rhythms, ask them to echo after you. This is so good for developing their ears and preparing for reading down the road!
  • SMALL GROUPS: Play the game normally, except ask the entire group to help perform the rhythm cards drawn by each individual.

Buy the 45-page Trick-or-Treat! PDF download now, and here’s what you’ll get:

  • Introductory letter to the teacher
  • Leveling cheatsheet and tips for gameplay
  • Instructions for assembly (this is a digital product; meaning, you must print and assemble the game yourself)
  • Card holders for each of the four levels
  • Four levels of rhythm cards (160 cards total)

Price: $9.00

Click here to read the original blog post announcement about this resource. 

Check out my video demo >>>

Watch my student play the Trick-or-Treat rhythm game >>>

Here’s what you’ll find in the video:

  • 0:12 | What to do if a student happens to draw a TREAT card first thing! (This is a rare occurance.)
  • 0:33 | How to teach a student how to perform the rhythm patterns on the TRICK cards accurately. They need to be able to (1) identify the meter, (2) count in before speaking/counting the rhythm pattern, and (3) maintain the meter as they speak/tap the rhythm pattern. (More tips on this below.)
  • 1:00, 1:20, and 1:42 | Watch Robbie chant more rhythm cards.
  • 2:00 | Robbie draws a TREAT card, ending the game.

Read more about using the game >>>

Level:Beginners through intermediate levels
Pages:45 pages
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

Please note: This product is a digital download, delivered by email after purchase.

Notes To Self: Wall Art Kit

The “Notes To Self” Inspirational Wall Art Kit (PDF) contains the digital materials you need to create interactive wall art to inspire those within your social sphere. It’s a great way to promote positivity and camaraderie amongst your circle of friends, family members, clients, co-workers, or students. I created the “Notes To Self” wall kit with my piano students in mind, but they are perfect for any setting where people gather for a common purpose: schools, workplaces, gyms, churches, music/dance/art studios, and more.

Those who approach the “Notes To Self” wall art are encouraged by the sign to “Take one to-go, for you or somebody else!” I drew the sticky notes designs myself and digitized them for this kit because I wanted to make it easy for anyone to create their own “Notes To Self” wall art.

To create your own “Notes To Self” wall art, here’s what you’ll need:

  • An open wall space
  • An inkjet printer
  • Printer paper
  • 3’x3′ sticky notes (here’s the “Super Sticky” Post-It notes I recommend, in my favorite color set) 🙂
  • The “Notes To Self” wall art kit (PDF) available for purchase in my shop.

The PDF contains a special template for sending the sticky notes through your printer so that the hand-drawn sayings and inspirations will be printed upon them.

Complete assembly instructions are included within the PDF, including a link to this YouTube video. Once you’ve printed the designs onto your sticky notes, you can arrange them onto your wall.

I’ve created two different sets of “Notes To Self” designs. You can choose one set or the other — or combine the two.

  1. The “Inspiration Set”, containing 96 sticky note hand-drawn designs.
  2. The “Bible Verses Set”, containing 42 sticky note hand-drawn designs.

If you’ve ever wished for ways to brighten the days of those within your circle of influence, the “Notes To Self” wall art kit might be right for you. It’s fun to admire the wall art and choose just the right sticky note to take home or gift someone special. 🙂

The Terms of Use allow the purchaser to print from this PDF as desired, forever, as long as you are using them for your own personal projects. This means the amount of sticky notes you could generate for special people in your life over the years is innumerable.

After purchasing this PDF, you will immediately receive an email containing the download link. Upon clicking the link, your computer will automatically put the PDF into your computer’s “Downloads” folder. Please move the file to a memorable place on your hard drive so you can access it for years to come. If you encounter any problems with this process, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for reading!

Pages:11 pages — Bible Verses set
20 pages — Inspiration set
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchaser to make unlimited printouts for their own students or community members. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

Here are a couple of photos I received from piano teachers who are using my “Notes to Self” wall art kit in their studios.

“The post-it’s are a big hit in my studio!”

Elanna Foster

Ontario, CA

“My students and I love your “Notes to Self”. Parents take them too and we are all inspired. I have a student who has built her own “Notes to Self” bulletin board. See attached photo. I can see a change in her since she started collecting them. I love her color-coding!”

Diane Lindsay

Illinois

Please note: This product is a digital download, delivered by email after purchase.

Great Composers & Their Music Curriculum

The Great Composers & Their Music series is designed to be an easy and effective way for teachers to incorporate music history in their students’ musical education.  You can read about how this curriculum came to be here.

Each PDF download contains complete lesson plans and materials for studying the life and music of a famous composer.  The lapbook is a creative and memorable way for students to learn and remember the facts from in the biography — and students will treasure it for years to come.  The biography booklet contains a carefully-researched biography, written to include all the important facts you would expect while being relevant to and relatable for even your youngest students.

Everything the teacher will need is included in the PDF — other than the paper, folders, scissors, and other office supplies. 🙂 To teach the lesson plan, the teacher reads the biography booklet aloud to students, stopping to answer questions and to play musical excerpts of the pieces mentioned (playlist provided). As they are listening to the biography, students can color the picture of the composer and start cutting out the items for the lapbook. As students finish assembling the lapbook, they can listen to more musical excerpts by the composer.

Download a FREE sample of a biography booklet for “Mozart” below. Enjoy!

  Mozart Biography Booklet (365.8 KiB, 9,952 hits)

Ways to Use The Great Composers & Their Music:  Great Composers & Their Music is not only thorough and complete, but it is very flexible — so there are many ways to use this curriculum. I have used these this curriculum to offer weekly 50-minute music appreciation classes for homeschoolers, spending 3 weeks on each composer (we spend about 30 minutes of the class time on the composer, and 20 minutes on other music topics). I also use the lapbooks during monthly groups classes with my private students. The biography booklets are also great to print for private students who are learning pieces by a particular composer. Best of all, I have had great success using this curriculum to offer an annual Music History Camp during the summer (read this post to learn how).

Materials needed: Each student will need the printed lapbook pages (black-and-white is fine if you do not have a color printer), a file folder, scissors, glue stick, and crayons. I recommend that the teacher assemble a lapbook in advance to show as an example.

Time Required: The minimum time required to complete a composer study greatly depends on the age of the students, as well as how much time you choose to devote to listening to musical excerpts. Junior high/high school students will be much faster at assembling the lapbook than 5- or 6-year-olds. However, I would estimate the absolute minimum time needed is 45 minutes, if you allow the students to color/cut as you read the biography aloud and play musical excerpts. It would be better to have 60-90 minutes, or to spread out the composer study over a period of a few lessons. If you would like the composer study to take more time than that, you can no doubt find a way to expand on the information provided in the biography booklet!

Instructions:  After purchase, you will receive an email with links to download the file(s). Your computer will likely put the file into a folder called “Downloads,” but you will want to save the file to another location on your computer’s hard drive where you can easily find it again — so you can print from it for years to come. The pdf contains everything you need, beginning with a few pages for the teacher, followed by the biography booklet, and then finally the lapbook pages.

Studio License: The license included in purchase allow the purchaser to use the digital file(s) or printouts from the files for personal and educational uses. This means: The purchaser may save the files on your computer or other devices and print/reproduce as desired for as long as you live, assuming you are using the materials with only your own students. Read the complete Terms of Use here.

*Click here to read brief descriptions of the concepts learned in each composer lapbook. Please check back for new composers!*

Ages:Best for ages 6-15
Pages:~20 pages
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

“I just want to thank you so much for the Blast from the Past History Camp resources.  I start my camp next week, and I am so excited to have an easy to use, information-packed curriculum.  The copies I made today are absolutely beautiful!  I am so impressed.  For several years I have wanted to provide a summer camp, but my busy schedule has kept me from devoting time to developing one, and I have been unable to find a curriculum I like . . . until now!  Thank you so much!”

Cheryl Marshall, NCTM

from Katy, TX

“Thanks so much for coming up with the composer lap book idea! My students learnt about Bach and became acquainted with some of his works. The instruction given from the downloads are clear and precise, and my students had fun “designing” and putting together their own lap book. It is a fabulous resources and a great way to study the life of Bach.”

Jo Tee H.

piano teacher from Singapore

“Just wanted to thank you for your terrific materials. I teach piano lessons part time in my Massachusetts home studio. I purchased your Beethoven lapbook and used it this past week with 15 students, ages 7 to 12, in one-hour group lessons (4-6 students per lesson). I love the engaging format (fold-outs and pockets)- very fun for kids to construct and they were excited to share with their families. The concrete “artifacts” (Heiligenstadt testimony, autograph manuscripts) bring the history to life for kids, the concepts become much more memorable, and they look great as color copies!”

Julie

piano teacher from Massachusetts

“Hello Joy, Thanks for your reply and thanks, again, for your lapbooks. They are perfect in every way for a typical one-to-one piano lesson. They are filled with accurate and interesting facts (and fun facts) for all age groups. They are a fun project to do with the student during the lesson. They are a meaningful way to introduce your students to the composer’s music they are studying. They offer the teacher an opportunity to interact with the student on a personal level. And I had fun too…colouring and engaging in chit-chat at my desk with my students was awesome.

I’ve had a few parents call and thank me for sparking a new fire in their child about music and history. So it’s been a win-win for everyone!”

Fran

piano teacher from Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada

Discount Code: Enter TAKE10 during checkout to receive $10 off your order containing of at least ten composers. Use the code TAKE20 to receive $20 off your order of twenty composers.

Rhythm Cards

Rhythm Cards are great for use in both private lessons or group classes!  The notes on the cards are clear and easy-to-read.  A variety of time signatures are used.  Once you purchase these rhythm cards, you can laminate a set for your studio can use for years to come, and you can even send printed copies home with your students!   

JUMBO RHYTHM CARDS – $5/set

  • Set 1: These 3.75×5 inch cards are great for young beginners.  Each card contains a 1-measure rhythm example in either 3/4 or 4/4 time.  (I recommend color-coding the time signatures for easy sorting.)  The rhythms in Set 1 contain basic rhythm values and rests (no eighth notes).  The PDF contains 49 rhythm cards.
  • Set 2: The rhythms in Set 2 contain rhythm examples in 3/4 or 4/4 time that contain pairs of beamed eighth notes.  Set 2 does not overlap with the rhythms in Set 1, so the sets can easily be combined to create a larger variety of rhythms.  (I recommend color-coding the time signatures for easy sorting.)  The PDF contains 49 rhythm cards.

REGULAR RHYTHM CARDS – $6/set

  • Level 1 contains 12 pages of rhythm cards, for a total of 96 cards.  Each card contains a two- or three-measure rhythm example.  24 of the cards only use basic rhythms (no eighth notes), 24 of the cards add quarter rests, 24 of the cards use half rests, and 24 of the cards use beamed eighth notes.  The time signatures used are 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time.  Choose between a PDF version that allows you to print and cut apart the cards, or a collection of JPGs for your iPhone/iPad.
  • Level 2 contains 16 pages of rhythm cards (6 on a page), for a total of 96 cards.  Each card contains a two- or three-measure rhythm example.  The rhythm examples in this level use ties and add a few new rhythm values: the eighth rest, the dotted quarter note, the single eighth note, and the triplet.  The time signatures used are 3/4, 4/4, 3/8, and 6/8 time.
  • Level 3 – contains 22 pages of rhythm cards (5 on a page), for a total of 110 cards.  Each card contains a three- or four-measure rhythm example.  The rhythm examples in this level use ties, sixteenth rests, and various combinations of sixteenth notes with eighth notes.  The time signatures used are 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8 time.  

Game Ideas for Rhythm Cards:

Rhythm game collage

PDF Assembly Instructions:

  • After purchase, check your email for the receipt containing the download links.  Click the link to download the file to your computer’s “Download” folder.  Be sure to move the file somewhere else on your computer’s hard drive where you will be able to find the file again in the future.
  • Print the Rhythm Cards onto cardstock paper.  You can print the cards double-sided if desired.  Tip: If you buy each level, print the levels on different colors of cardstock paper so they are color-coded.
  • Cut out the cards, and then laminate if desired.

JPG Instructions:

  • After purchase, follow the instructions to download and save the file onto your computer’s hard drive.
  • Unzip the file.  You’ll find a folder containing the 97 jpg files.  Copy and paste the whole folder into a place where it can sync with your iPhone/iPad.
    • How to set up a folder of folders to sync with your iPhone/iPad:
      • On your computer, create a new folder called “Sync to iPhone.”  (I suggest putting creating this new folder within your “Pictures” folder on your computer.)  Next, put the “Rhythm Card jpgs – Level 1” folder inside the new folder you just created.
      • Connect your iPhone/iPad to your computer and open iTunes.  Within iTunes, click on your device listed in the left hand column.  Now select “Photos” from the menu that appears.  Put a check mark in the box where is says, “Sync photos from…”  Then click on the dropdown box, and browse to find the new folder you created earlier.
      • Click the “Sync” button in the lower right hand corner, and the photos will be added to your iPhone/iPad.
  • To pull up the photos to use them on your iPhone/iPad, go to the “Photos” app, then select the “Rhythm Card jpgs – Level 1” folder.  Click on the first photo to enlarge it.  Then, swipe to the right to go to the next card.

Questions?  Read the Terms of Use here.

Level:Beginner through intermediate
Pages:13 pages — Jumbo Rhythm Cards Set 1
14 pages — Jumbo Rhythm Cards Set 2
13 pages — Rhythm Cards Level 1
17 pages — Rhythm Cards Level 2
23 pages — Rhythm Cards Level 3
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.