This week, I’ve been dazzling the kiddos and putting unsuspecting parents on the spot with my super fun and fabulous interval game! Read on to see how it’s played, get a free printable of the game, and discover why going intervallic is the smarter way to read music.
What is an interval?
An interval is the distance between two notes. It is measured by the number of pitches that fall within the span of the interval. For example, the interval from A to C spans three pitches: A, B, and C. Intervals are always called by their ordinal numbers, so we’d call the interval from A to C a “third” rather than a “three.”
Why are intervals the smarter way to read music?
The intervallic approach encourages students to correlate an interval on the staff with the feeling of that span in their fingers. Intervallic reading eliminates the need to constantly “count” through the alphabet in order to identify notes on the staff. It also reduces the need to look down at the hands or keyboard while playing. In a nutshell, it trains students to become amazingly agile music readers!
How does the game help?
The game encourages recognition of seconds and thirds in order to help students build fast and accurate music reading skills. Students will need to identify intervals on a partial staff, with finger numbers, and using the musical alphabet. The intervals are presented in these different forms to help reinforce the connections between written notes, keyboard topography, and finger movements.
You will need:
- 1 printout of the game (click here)
- 1 or more game pieces in various colors
- 1 second and thirds selector. I used a spinning wheel app called Decide Now! for iOS. You could also make your own wheel or flip a coin.
How to play:
All players place their game pieces on the arrow marked “start.” The person who practiced most recently spins first. Once an interval has been randomly selected, the player must move their game piece to the square that represents the given interval. Players take turns until someone crosses the finish line. For an extra challenge, set a timer and complete the game in 5 minutes or less!