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. 

>>> Watch the video >>>

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.

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.

Rhythm Flipbooks

This PDF download, when assembled, is a great resource for practicing rhythm with your students!  It is convenient to pull out during a lesson or group class, and requires less clean-up than flashcards.

Inside, the notes and rests can be flipped separately from each other, so you and your students can create a variety of rhythm examples!

When you purchase the Rhythm Flipbook, you will get TWO versions: the original “My Rhythm Flipbook,” and “My Easy Rhythm Flipbook.”   The only different is that the easy version has had the sixteenth-note and triplet rhythms removed, for use with beginner students.

If you assemble two Rhythm Flipbooks, you can even put them side-by-side to create longer rhythm examples.  Once you have purchased the Rhythm Flipbooks, you are permitted to print as many as desired for you and your students.

There are separate sections for each time signature (4/4, 3/4, and 6/8).  I recommend using a colored page to divide the sections, so you can easily find the desired time signature.

Instructions for Assembly:

  • After purchase, follow the instructions to download and save the file onto your computer’s hard drive.
  • The pdf contains a full sheet of detailed instructions for assembling this flipbook, but here is a quick summary: You can print/cut the pages yourself at home, and then bring the stack in to a copy shop for binding (which generally costs around $5 USD).  Or, you can get the flipbook both printed and bound at a copy shop (which generally costs around $20 USD) — just bring in the first page of instructions so they can see how it needs to be done.  AFTER getting the pages bound, cut vertically between the note values, as shown in the photo in the instructions.  Note: I do not recommend laminating the pages because the stack would become too thick to fit in a spiral binding. Printing on cardstock paper will make the flipbook durable enough to last for many years.

Questions?  Read the Terms of Use here.

Level:Beginners into intermediate levels
Pages:50 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.

SINGLE USER LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchaser to make a printout for personal use. Sharing the digital file/printouts with others is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

“I love the concept of having everything in a flip book format rather than the more traditional flash cards I have used in the past. I have used it with a few different age groups. All of my students were excited when they first saw it and thought it looked like fun! They loved being able to make up their own rhythm with the flip book!  They had so much fun clapping out each others rhythms and trying to trick and outdo the other person! The flipbook was easy to use and effective in group lessons as well as private lessons.”

Sarah J.