Phase Six (Music Twist)

Here’s a rhythm game based on the idea of Phase Ten.

What you need:

  • A set of cards with quarter notes, half notes, dotted half notes, etc.

Setup:

  • Remove any cards the student hasn’t learned yet, such as dotted quarter notes or eighth notes.
  • Deal out five or six cards to each player. (Five will be harder; six will be easier. Neither are particularly hard since the point is to create and practice workable rhythms.)
  • Place the rest of the cards in a stack and flip one card over.
  • Make sure you know what the phases are. You can print these instructions out, but I just hold this list in my head. Not printing it out means you are free to make it harder or easier depending on how the student is doing.
    • Two measures in 4/4 time
    • Two measures in 3/4 time
    • Three measures in 4/4 time
    • Three measures in 3/4 time
    • Four measures in 2/4 time
    • One measure in 3/4 time followed by one measure in 4/4 time

How to play:

  • The first player attempts to rearrange the six cards into the first phase (two measures in 4/4 time).
  • Most of the time, it will be possible to complete the phase. The player counts and claps it. If the player can’t create the phase, she can pick up the flipped over card, or she can take the top card from the stack. She also discards one of the cards she doesn’t want. It becomes the new flipped over card. Her turn is now over.
  • The second player attempts to rearrange his cards into the first phase, following the same rules.
  • Once one player has successfully counted and clapped a rhythm, the other player has one turn to also complete the phase. Whether she does or not, the round ends. All cards are gathered up. New cards are dealt out.
  • Anyone who has successfully counted and clapped a rhythm in that phase can move on to the next phase. Anyone who has not yet completed the phase, must try that phase again on the next round. The person to complete the sixth phase first is the winner.

Variants:

  • To make it easier, change the phases. For example, you can require only one measure of 4/4 in the first round.
  • To make it harder, remove the Wild Cards or add an additional rule. For example, only one measure can contain a rest or all rhythms must include an eighth note.
  • To make it shorter, say that whoever is further ahead when the lesson ends is the winner, even if not all phases are complete.
  • To make it longer, imagine new phases. You may need to deal out more cards if you go for more measures.
  • To make it more likely the student will win, deal fewer cards to the teacher on each round. Or, tell the student you might make a mistake in your counting and clapping. If she catches you and can point to the place you clapped wrong, you have to repeat that phase on the next round.

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