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Note by Note (all grades)


Author: Chris Meyer, South Central Jr./Sr. High School, Indiana


Subject: General Music, Instrumental Music, and Choral Music


Objective: The objective is to maintain an independent part in a group.


Materials and Preparation: You will need a musical example where every student is performing the same part or melody, such as a monophonic exercise from a method book.


Student Grouping: Any grouping of musicians


The Play:


  1. Students are standing in a circle with their music and instruments.

  2. A student begins by playing the first note of a musical selection, followed by the next student playing the second note, followed by the third student playing the third note and so on.

  3. This continues until all of the notes have been played individually and then the selection starts over with the next student in the circle beginning.

  4. After a few rounds, we do a play-off where students sit down when an error is made, such as when an incorrect note or rhythm is performed. The last person standing can either be declared the winner or may pick the next musical selection for the group to perform.


Scoring: Students could have teams and the last students standing get points for their teams. Students could also have their own circles with their own team and the winner could be established by who has the most players standing at the end of the timer or who can play the selection most accurate at the quickest tempo.


Further Play: For a more challenging Note by Note, have students play with a metronome and speed up the tempo. Students can also do this in a round with some exercises.


Examples: I used a selection from a method book with my beginning band. If students are prepared to play and know all of the notes, they can play at a steady tempo and gradually increase tempo.


Comments or Variations: This PAT also works well with rhythms where there is a rhythm on the board and students must clap in time while only performing one note each.


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