Band and Orchestra Learning Activities (with Flashcards)
These learning activities, or lesson plans, were developed by a music teacher with 17 years of classroom experience teaching Beginning Band and Orchestra. They are simple for kids to understand, extremely effective, and fun!
Activity 1: Back & Forth
Choose two cards, and practice playing both notes several times. While looking at the fingering side, play back and forth between the notes 10 times at a slow speed.
Then flip the cards over and play back and forth between the notes 10 more times, going faster and faster.
Activity 3: Partials (Brass & Percussion Only)
Choose a fingering or slide position and find all the cards that have the same fingering or slide position.
Practice naming and playing these notes in different orders, first looking at the fingering side (5 times), then looking at the notation side (5 times).
Activity 6: Odd or Even
With a partner, divide the stack into odd and even cards. One of you takes the odds, and the other takes the evens. Take turns showing each other the staff side of a card.
If you can name AND play the card you are shown, you get to keep the card. After going through all the cards once, the partner with the most cards wins!
Activity 2: Rock Star
Pull out any 8 cards, either from the whole stack or from a chosen symbol. Have a partner show you the notation side of each card, one at a time. Can you name the note? Can you play the note? You get one point for each note you can name AND play.
8 pts=Rock Star, 7 pts=National Idol, 6 pts=Wedding Singer, 5 or below=Try Again.
Activity 4: Scales
Choose a symbol (circle, triangle, or star for example) and find all the cards with that symbol.
Practice naming and playing these notes going upwards and downwards. Play the scale up and down 10 times slow enough to avoid mistakes.
Activity 7: Light Speed
Set a timer to 1 minute. Have a partner show you the staff side of each card in the stack. If you name the note correctly, the card goes in a "success" pile, but if not, it goes to the back of the stack. How many notes can you name before the timer ends?
All=Light Speed, 20+=Supersonic Speed, 12+=Ferrari Speed, 11 or less=Try Again
Activity 3: Register Leaps (Woodwinds Only)
Choose a fingering and find a 2nd card with the same fingering (except for the thumb in some cases). If there is not a matching fingering, pick a different one.
Practice playing back and forth between these two notes, first looking at the fingering side (5 times), then looking at the notation side (5 times).
Activity 5: Chro-Major
Choose any 13 cards that are in numerical order, and lay them on the floor in a row, from lowest to highest (for example, cards 8-20).
Play this Chromatic Scale. Then slide up the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, and 13th cards (about 2 inches). If you play these cards, you will be playing one of the 12 Major Scales.
Activity 8: Go Pro
Set a timer to 1 minute. Have a partner show you the staff side of each card in the stack. If you play the note correctly, the card goes in a "success" pile, but if not, it goes to the back of the stack. How many notes can you play before the timer ends?
All=Professional Musician, 20+=Minor League Musician, 12+=Amateur Musician, 11 or less=Try Again