Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Time for a Little Music!

I have the wonderful privilege of being part of a terrific group of teacher/tutor/authors over on Teachers Pay Teachers, who are all swapping resources this week and reviewing them for each other! It has been a fun experience, and has allowed me to step out of my tutor role and enjoy my homeschooling mom role a bit. I was paired with Rebecca Reid from Line Upon Line Learning, and could chose any item from her store.

As a side note, before this swap I hadn't really looked at Recca's store because her kids are younger than mine, and her reading materials wouldn't really help me with all of math tutoring students! I am so happy I had the chance to look around and really get to know her style!

Now back to the swap. My kids are all music lovers, and so I am. I can from a musically talented family, but never had the resources to develop my own skill. So my kids pretty much teach themselves what they want to learn using YouTube and other video sites. When I saw that Rebecca had music resources I knew I had found the resource to try out!

Piano Notes Board Game  
The suggested grades for this resource are 1st through 6th. But I have to tell you all, my 8th and 9th graders loved it! I am happy I decided to laminate the cards, because I can see this is going to be a game that gets added to our collection :)

After I printed and cut everything out (I so should have let the older kids do this because everything has nice straight lines, so it definitely would have been easy enough!) I set the board on our dining room table. I wouldn't let the kids explore or anything, just told them it was product I was reviewing for a friend. But the colors and the musical notes and staffs just ate away at their curiosity. By the time we finally got to sit down and play the game, everyone was eager to play.

We set up the keyboard right next to the table so each time someone had to play a note or series of notes they had to get up and walk to the keyboard. My kids are movers, so this was a great way to keep their wiggles at bay so they could focus.

We also made a little adjustment to the playing pieces. (btw, my kids are all a little interested in learning who these guys are!) We didn't have the binder clips to hold up the pieces, so I glued them part way, and made little legs. It was fun to keep them from tipping over, took several tries to get it just right, but it worked, so you don't really need those clips after all!. 

Here's how the game basically works. The player draws a card, and answers with either naming a note or playing it on the keyboard (sometimes it a 3-letter word that must be played). There are cards with just the note marked on a keyboard, on the treble clef, and on the bass clef. There are also a few freebie cards giving players an extra turn to roll and move. Thankfully, there are anchor charts to help those of us who don't know how to read music!

After the player answers the card correctly (other players have to "check off" on the answer), its time to roll the die. This was perhaps the most fun my family has had rolling 1 die! The "numbers" are music notes. So you must figure out how many spaces based on the count of the note. For example, a quarter note moves you 1 space, a whole note moves you 4 spaces.  We are going to have fun looking for these notes in the future and counting out how many spaces they would let us move on the game!

With a couple slides that move your pieces forward in the game and the bonus cards, it's really anyone's game the whole time. Just ask my son who got a little hot for his britches in the beginning and then got passed up in the end! Reach the child playing the piano and you win. We added a twist saying the final roll must be exact. This took me out of the winner's circle :(

On a final note, this game would be a great addition to a tutor's bag of goodies, if you have a student interested in music. A nice reward for a focused lesson, building numeracy skills for young ones, a research challenge for older ones, or just simply learning to read music if that is what you are tutoring!

After playing this game, my youngest have been more inclined to try out their hand at music and have been learning a few bits of some of their favorite songs. The older ones are a little more confident and willing to help out the younger ones. And the best part, mom didn't have to rack her brain trying to figure out how to make it happen!

A little birdy told me that this game would be going on sale sometime soon, so you may want to check if you've been following Rebecca Reid on TpT, so you get the notification when it goes on sale. But at $3 dollars regular price, it's still a great deal!

Also, be sure to watch for this button over the next few days on blogs and Facebook pages. There were about 20 or so of us who traded products to review, and many of them will be on sale!

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