This is a potentially fast-paced keyboard orientation drill.
- Vinyl floor keyboard
- Plastic note discs
- Familiarity with piano keys
- Sequencing notes
- Problem solving
Roll the vinyl piano mat out on the floor.
Turn the plastic note discs over so that the blank side is facing up.
Next, distribute an equal amount of note discs to each player. You can do this by sliding the discs as though they are pucks across the floor to each player in turn and letting them catch the discs, or by letting each player select a certain number of discs from the pile (without flipping them over).
If the number of discs doesn't divide evenly, give the extras to more experienced players (be subtle) or keep the discs for yourself.
On a count of "One, two, three, GO!" the players scramble to flip their discs over and arrange them in the appropriate places on the vinyl keyboard.
This is not so much a competition as a cooperative game - the game is done when all the notes are on the keyboard, rather than when one player runs out.
Here is a shot of a game in progress:
As you can see, the notes do not necessarily need to be put on the keyboard in any particular order. However, in some groups a leader will emerge who will help the other players. Try to be as hands-off as possible.
You will find that this game goes so fast that the group will probably want to play it a few times in a row!
Tips & Variations:
- Less experienced groups might need an answer key showing the positions of the notes on the keyboard. Learning how to translate a diagram into reality is an age-appropriate skill in itself.
- If you want to give them a clue, remind the students that D is found in between each group of two black keys.
- This game can also be played on the floor staff.
- Preschool modification: With younger children, you might pick one note at a time to be placed on the staff. For instance, you would hold up an E and ask, "Where does this go?" Children take turns putting the note on the staff, with your guidance if necessary.