Rainbow Board Game (How to Drill Anything)

This is a board I drew up on graph paper in a few spare minutes and can be used for anything.

What You Need:


  • Place the two game markers at the entry square.
  • Assign each color a category or flashcard:
    • I varied this for each student. Sometimes it was different sections of the piece they were learning, sometimes it was ear training on intervals or dictating a rhythm.

How to Play:

  • Roll the dice. Move your marker that many squares forward. Do the challenge for that color.
  • Rolling doubles means you get to go again.
  • Catching the teacher in a mistake means the teacher has to go back to where she was at the beginning of the turn.
  • Winner is whoever gets to the end first, or if you run out of time, whoever is ahead when the lesson is over.

Rainbow Game Board0003


Jenga (How to Drill Anything)

I have seen a couple of different versions of music Jenga on various blogs.  Mostly people write note values or something of like that on their blocks. But I like a lot more flexibility than something written in permanent marker.  Here is my version.

What you need:

  • Jenga
    • Use two or three types of small stickers and stick one to each block in the set.
    • To be totally honest, my set is old and some of the stickers have fallen off. That’s not a problem. My three categories are star stickers, smiley face stickers, and no sticker at all.
  • Flash cards for whatever you want to drill
    • Use two or three different sets or split one set into different piles. Each set should be assigned to one type of sticker.
    • One set can even be something as simple as measure numbers in the student’s current song.


  • Create a Jenga tower according to the rules of the regular game.

How to play:

  • Each player draws a digital block and places it on top just like in regular Jenga.
  • Depending on what stickers on that block the player must also answer flash card before moving on.
  • Play until the tower falls or you run out of time.




Target Practice (How to Drill Anything)

Target Practice (How to Drill Anything)

This activity requires a giant target. This may come with an archery set, but mine is a homemade job made out of an old curtain otherwise destined for the trash, a sharpie marker, and some spray fabric paint, which I didn’t even bother to try to keep in the lines. Regardless of how professional (or not) yours looks, the kids will have a good time with this.

What You Need:

  • Giant Target
  • Beanbag
  • Flashcards for whatever you want to drill


  • Lay the target out on the floor.
  • Place a flashcard on each color of the target.

How to Play:

  • The student tosses the beanbag onto the target. I vary the starting position based on the throwing ability of the kid.
  • Pick up the card for the color the beanbag landed on and have the student answer it. Replace the card and go again.
  • Some kids will like to keep score. If so, give them 1 point for a bull’s eye, 2 points for the next color, etc. The goal is to keep the score as low as possible. If they are motivated by competition, the teacher can play too. In that case, miss some of the answers and offer them a point off their score tally if they catch you making a mistake.

The Treat Game (How to Drill Anything)

Treat Game (How to Drill Anything)

I don’t generally hand out candy at lessons. But for the occasional holiday I will make an exception. This year it was Valentine’s Day, since the kids around here no longer get any candy at school. But there is no reason why this has to be a Valentine’s Day game.

What You Need:

  • Flashcards for whatever you want to drill
    • I did it with cards with the note names on them. Depending on the student’s level, they either had to find the note on the keyboard or on the staff or play a major chord based on that note or play a major scale based on that note.
  • A handful of extra flashcards that say “Be careful! Answer the next one right to earn a treat!”
    • It is important that these cards feel the same as the original flashcards: same size, same paper weight, etc.
    • If you are using pre-made, laminated flashcards, you could even use a whiteboard marker to write it on a few of the cards.
  • An opaque bag or box to hold your flashcards.
  • A bowl of small treats.


  • Shuffle your flashcards (all of them) and place them in the bag or bowl.

How to Play:

  • The student draws a card.
  • If it’s a regular card, they answer the question. If it’s a treat card, keep it in hand, but draw another card and answer that one. If they get it wrong, toss the treat card back in the bag. If they get it right, set the treat card to the side.
  • When all the cards in the box are gone (or you run out of time), count up the number of treat cards you have on the side. Choose that many small treats out of the bowl.


Roll-A-Drawing (How to Drill Anything)

Here’s a simple way to make things more fun during the lesson. I’ve provided a link to the three printables, I used, but the Internet is full of such drawing dice games, and you could use any of them.

What You Need:

  • Blank paper
  • Pencils
  • Die
  • A printable guide for a dice drawing game, such as Roll-a-Snowman or Roll-a-Face or Roll-a-Monster.
  • A list of what musical challenges go with each number on the die. You can put anything you want to drill here. For example, my list said:
    • 1 = Note name challenge
    • 2 = Rhythm challenge
    • 3 = Improv duet
    • 4 = Sight reading challenge
    • 5 = Review song
    • 6 = Freebie


  • None

How to Play:

  • The student rolls the die. They must complete the challenge for that number first. Afterwards, they can draw the corresponding snowman, face, monster, or whatever.
  • The teach plays too, so you can see more than one result of the drawing game, but the teacher doesn’t need to complete challenges. (It takes too long that way.)