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Coming up with games and lessons for solfege can seem daunting. You may feel like the only thing to do is to have students read flashcards on the screen. And while I do think there is value in that– especially before an independent activity– it’s not all there is to teaching solfege or melody.
After this post, you’ll have 7 different ideas of games and lessons for solfege that can be applied to all solfa syllables– so you can use them with any grade!
Also make sure you read until the bottom so that you can grab your freebie….
First thing’s first… We’ve got to notate. Your students need to be able to show the highs and lows of a song via manipulatives. You can use mini erasers, little pieces of paper, but I prefer bingo chips. They are sturdier, and you can get clear ones which makes it easy to see where they are on the staff.
We usually start by taking a song that they know very well and they help me notate first– then I turn them loose and have them try on their own on the next day.
Then you can move to doing different patterns with the solfege.
After that, you can move to having students create their own!
You can also do this in groups where one student notates and another student reads, or you can do where one student says a pattern and the other has to notate.
There’s so many options!
We also start this one without the staff, then move to using the staff.
Need a staff? If you don’t have some, you can print out a staff and put it in a sheet protector. We call these lap packs!
You can see more music manipulative DIY here!
Next up on this list of games and lessons for solfege is Lucky Lemons! This is a super fun board game that allows students to practice notating, filling in missing rhythms, and identifying notes.
It’s actually available in digital and printable options, because I made it during distance learning.
We typically play it using the digital version first. I throw it on the board, and students get into groups. They take turns rolling the dice. Then we move their game piece. Then they do the challenge associated with that one. If they get it right, they get a lemon (point), if not, then they don’t get the point. (Answer keys included.)
Then I’ll have them do it in groups, because they already know how to play. In groups, I have them use the printable version and I use game pieces I bought off of Amazon (these are the ones I have– affiliate link)
Also, it’s extra fun with these giant dice. Just saying.
It’s currently available in sol mi la and do, and more are coming.
Chrome Music Lab
This truly changed my life. I wanted so hard to be able to use Chrome music lab, but I don’t want it to be a babysitter; I’m looking for ways to actually enhance my lessons and teach concepts.
The Chrome Music Lab song maker is an app that allows students to easily compose by tapping on the squares– plus, it’s color coded. And the colors match the boomwhackers. Thank you, Google. (Did I mention it’s free?)
We use the Chrome Music Lab task cards to do this– students create a pattern that is on the card and then listen to it. Once they understand, they can create their own patterns! And if you really want to make it awesome, you can have them add boomwhackers and play along. Or you can have them notate their compositions after they make them.
I have about 10 iPads in my classroom that I got via a grant. Students work in groups, or I’ll have some students working on the iPads and some working on something else.
You can purchase Chrome Music Lab task cards here.
Here is the link to song maker.
I didn’t know a better way to phrase this, but digital games are games you can create on Google Slides (or purchase the ready made ones in my TPT shop) where students have to click on the correct answer in order to move on.
How is that for an explanation?
They are quite fun and self assessing.
My favorite way to use them is to put them on the screen and have students hold up one finger or two for what their answer is. Then I can write that down as a grade.
Then you can split them into teams and have the teams take turns answering– if they get it right then they get a point!
You could also do this individually. When we do, I send it via Google Classroom or create a free QR code on this website so that they iPads just have to scan it. The students do not need to be able to edit– they just need to be able to view.
Most of these in my shop also come with a Google Forms version if you want to have a tangible grade from it– Google Forms will send you their scores. (Just check before you purchase that it says Google Forms.)
Click here to check out different digital games (including Spring, Summer Vacation, Pumpkin Patch, Christmas, Snowball Fight, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and more!)
You can also use Boom cards to do this— and Boom cards are self grading. If you purchase the premium boom card license, it will store their grades. I just use the free version, because we use it as practice.
Click here to check out Boom Cards!
Xylophones + manipulatives
Next up, you can use the xylophones! You can use them in many, many different ways, but we’re talking specifically about using if with manipulatives.
All you need for this is super simple little cards (or foam shapes!) that have the solfa syllables on them.
Next up, have students get into groups and arrange the solfa syllables– then play the song!
You can also make it harder by having one person make a song and the other play it.
To help with this, you can take off the bars you don’t need, or you can add sticky notes to the notes that you are playings with an s and m for sol and mi (or whatever you need).
Feed the Monster
Ready for you FREE game?
Feed the Monster is a really fun game for younger students– annnnd there’s a freebie!
For this, you’ll need the freebie and solfa flashcards (like these monster themed ones).
- First, download and cut out the monster template from my TPT shop (free).
- Then, make the monster by glueing it to a bag or a box and cutting out the mouth.
- After that, you’re ready to play! Have students sit in a circle with all of the cards facing down.
- One student at a time draws a card and reads it. If they get it right, they get to feed the monster (put the card in the monster’s mouth).
- The bonus to this is that you can walk around and check off the students who can correctly read the patterns for an easy assessment.
Click here to download the game free!
And click here for the matching monster solfege cards.
The last of the games and lessons for solfege is one of my absolute favorite games– Kaboom!
To play Kaboom, you need a bunch of solfege pattern cards and some that say Kaboom. You can make them yourself (put them on popsicle sticks!), or you can purchase them ready-made from my TPT shop here.
Students sit in a circle with the cards mixed up in a bucket. One student at a time takes out a card and reads it. If they get it right, they keep it. If they get it wrong, they put it back. If they get it wrong, they put aaaall of theirs away.
The huge upside to this one is that the game never ends, because eventually someone gets a Kaboom and adds more cards to the pile.
Plus, you can also walk around and listen and count this one as an assessment. Win win.
Alright friends, there are a few games and lessons for solfege! What was your favorite? Do you have a favorite that’s not on here? Message me on Instagram (@beccasmusicroom) and les me know!