During Off Bench Time, I assigned students to complete worksheets in the app called SproutBeat which challenged them to add up note values. I noticed this was difficult for some. Many students (even though I stand on my head and do back flips trying to make it clear) assume two 8th notes equal two beats.
The red flags went up so I was determined to develop an activity for an upcoming group lesson that would help anyone at any level to understand the duration of notes and add them up with confidence.
For quite some time, I have wanted to design a music game similar to Yahtzee using 5 dice and a score card. For my new rhythm game, I decided to use Yahtzee as inspiration and assumed that the score cards would be the same for each player just like in the game. Then it occurred to me that Rhythm on a Roll would be much more interesting if each player had a different card—like in the game of Bingo. For example, when a TWO is rolled, it represents a quarter note for one player, a half note for another and an eighth note for another.
With each score card being different, this educational game of chance became much more engaging and competitive. This was a last-minute game planned just in time for my first group lesson of the week and it was a winner. I believe it will be for your studio, too!
Clear as mud? Stick with me, the video will clarify things.
See Rhythm on a Roll in Action
Pictures speak a thousand words and videos…10,000?
To learn how to play Rhythm on a Roll, you’ll want to watch this video that shows me playing the game in “high speed.” Rewind as needed!
What you need to play Rhythm On a Roll?
>Dice. I discovered that my favorite childhood game of Yahtzee is not that popular with most of my students! Some play Farkle, and even Spicey Farkle. ANY dice will do so raid your board games! If you can’t collect enough, try this collection of dice.
>Cup for tossing and rolling the dice
>Tray to keep dice from rolling away.
>Padding for the tray to keep the dice from making too much noise if used during Off Bench Time.
>Clear pockets in which to place score cards so they can be reused.
>Six score cards in each level.
>Players who are ready to roll!
What’s included in Rhythm on a Roll?
The downloadable PDF includes:
>Instructions to play the game which includes the link to the video above. I suggest letting your students watch it, too.
>Level One Score Cards (six variations) and instructions on how to play.
- Quarter note
- Half note
- Dotted half note
- Eighth note
- Two eighth notes.
>Level Two Score Cards (six variations.) The same Level-One instructions apply but, you’ll notice that the score cards include shorter note values and that tricky dotted quarter note!
TIP: For more advanced players, change the note value equalled to one beat to an eighth note instead of a quarter note. Added note values include:
- Eighth note
- Dotted quarter note
- Sixteenth note
- Two sixteenth notes.
>Variations on the game that encourage creativity.
>Ideas for prizes for winners.
>Single-player version for Off Bench Time.
>Tips on how to use the game if you don’t have Off Bench time or teach in groups.
Just before Rhythm on a Roll was going to be “rolled out” it dawned on me that the score cards should also include rests. Rests are SO important and usually overlooked. It’s been said that Mozart stated…
“Notes are silver, rests are gold.”
Therefore, I’ve added two more sets of score cards with rests–one set that correlates with Level 1 and another for Level 2. In addition, you’ll enjoy the clever options provided when playing Rhythm on a Roll with rests.