Today, I am sharing a few ideas for musical activities you can do using a common board game you probably have in your closet right now.
Keep reading for 10 fun ways you can use Scrabble tiles in your next lesson!
1. Build the musical alphabet.
Learning the musical alphabet is one of the first activities beginners do in our lessons. Scrabble tiles are great manipulatives that allow your students to put the musical alphabet in order forwards and backwards, starting on any letter!
2. Find the given letter on the piano keyboard.
Have students draw a tile from the bag and place it on the corresponding key on the piano.
3. Find the given letter on the staff.
Have students draw a tile from the bag and find the given letter in one of the pieces in their method book.
4. Draw the given letters on blank staff paper or a white board.
Have students draw a series of tiles from the bag and notate the letters on the staff. (Bonus: this is a sneaky way to review rhythm notes and notation rules, such as stem direction!)
5. Practice building intervals.
Have students build a series of steps or skips using Scrabble tiles. Or, have students draw a tile from the bag and name the letter that is a fourth (or any interval of your choosing) higher or lower.
6. Practice building scales.
Have students build a one-octave scale using Scrabble tiles, then identify which pitches should be sharps or flats.
7. Practice building chords in root position and inversion.
Scrabble tiles make perfect manipulatives for building chords and learning how inversions work!
8. Review the order of sharps and flats and build key signatures.
I am always looking for fun ways to review the correct order of sharps and flats! Give students a major or minor key and have them build the key signature in the correct order using Scrabble tiles.
9. Use the tiles for ear training practice by playing a short phrase and having students "notate" what they hear using Scrabble tiles.
For example, give students the tiles C, D, and E and ask them to put the letters in the order they hear them being played on the piano. I like to use multiples of each letter so I can play phrases such as "C-D-D" or "C-D-C" as well.
10. Use Scrabble tiles in your improv activities.
Flex those creative muscles by having students draw a series of tiles from the bag and use them to create a melody! Or, give students tiles representing a 4 bar chord progression (for example, C-A(m)-F-G) and have students put the chords in the order of their choosing and improvise a melody to go along with them.
What do you think? What fun ways do you "gamify" your students' lessons? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments!