End of year game ideas for the music classroom!

Can you see the finish line yet? The concerts and the judging are done or almost done, the grades are almost complete, and students are more than ready for summer break. If you are looking for end of year activities in music classes or ensembles, here are some ideas on how to use Sight Reading Factory for games and fun competitions.

Sight Reading Theme Week

bass clef on calendar

  • Pick a week where you’ll use SRF everyday
  • Pick a different musical element to focus on each day (Cut Time one day, E Major one day, specific difficult rhythm groups with rhythm-only, etc.)
  • At the end of the week review
  • A variation of this would be to do themed weeks throughout the school year where you focus on a specific area for a whole week

Sight Reading Battle Royale

brackets for games

  • Bracket-style sight reading competition (think college basketball tournament)
  • Individual students, or small groups of students, or entire sections of students are pitted against each other
  • They can either sight read the same piece at the same time, or they can sight read the same configuration at separate times
  • Students can judge each other and the teacher can be the tie breaker or the teacher can judge the students
  • Winners move on to the next round

Live Practice (By itself or in combination with games listed)

students sight reading

  • Amazing way to practice full ensemble sight reading
  • Great for schools that are 1:1 with school-issued devices
  • Teacher starts a Live Practice session and generates a sight reading exercise
  • Students join the Live Practice session and see their individual part on their own device
  • Student devices automatically refresh with fresh music as the teacher generates new exercises

Sight Reading Bingo

students sight reading

  • Create bingo cards with various key signatures, time signatures, dynamic markings, articulations, etc. (you can use something like Bingo Card Maker)
  • Generate some sight reading with random key/time signatures that includes other elements that will be on the bingo cards
  • Each time you generate an exercise, give your students time to mark off on their bingo card the elements that they see in that exercise (as the teacher you should mark off all the elements you see too!)
  • Play through the exercise and then generate a new one
  • Keep generating and practicing exercises until someone gets bingo
  • Check their card against the elements you have marked off

Sight Reading Chain

students playing music

  • Generate a solo or unison ensemble exercise and assign individual students or sections to a single measure
  • Start at the beginning and play through to the end with each student/section picking up where the last student/section left off
  • The goal is to create a seamless performance

Sight Reading Last Student Standing

students cheering

  • Everyone stands
  • Teacher generates a unison ensemble exercise (or rhythm-only exercise)
  • Everyone performs it together
  • When a student makes a mistake they sit down and stop performing (honor system)
  • More exercises are generated and they become more difficult until there is only one student remaining

Sight Reading ‘HORSE’ (based on the basketball game)

  1. A student/section performs an exercise
  2. Students and/or teacher judges whether or not it was performed correctly. If not, go to the next student/section and they pick a configuration and repeat step #1. If correct, go on to step #3.
  3. The next student/section to go has to perform an exercise with that same configuration
  4. If the judges determine that it was not performed correctly, then that student/section gets their first letter (H) and the next student/section can pick a new configuration (students/sections are out after they have gotten all the letters for HORSE). If it was performed correctly, repeat step #3 until you get back to the original performer and then go to step #5
  5. If it comes around to the original performer(s), they can pick a new (and harder!) configuration and it continues until there is only 1 student/section left that hasn't spelled out HORSE
  6. For a more musical variation (pun intended), instead of using HORSE use a musical word like MUSIC or FORTE... or SRF!

Sight Reading Awards (longer term)

students with trophy

  • Create an assignment at a particular level
  • Have your students take the assignment at the beginning of the school year
  • Have your students practice sight reading and take assignments throughout the year
  • Create the same assignment that you did at the beginning and have your students take that assignment again
  • Give awards for things like, "Most Improved", "Best Dynamics", and "Rhythm Master"

The SRF Team wishes all of our music educator friends a wonderful end to the school year and a relaxing summer break!

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