Beginning Band Super Bowl

Use Beginning Band Super Bowl to take advantage of all the Super Bowl hype right now.  Take these ideas and adjust them to perfectly fit your needs.  Focus your game on whatever your classes need the most work on right now.

      • When?

I would probably start explain the game on the Monday before the Super Bowl, play it from Tues-Thurs, and reveal the winners on the Friday before the big game.  Keeping up the excitement for more than about 3 days would take more work – decorating the band hall, big scoreboard etc.  If you’re up for that, you could do longer.  If you want to keep it simple, I’d say 3 days.

      • How to Divide Teams? 

Separate Class Periods
Beginners vs. Advanced Band (Beginners might do a scale or count rhythms (see specifics below), Advanced Band could get points for fixing a certain passage of technique, watching in a difficult transition, behavior, everyone taking home instruments etc.)
Woodwinds vs. Brass & Percussion (or put percussion with woodwinds depending on numbers)
Director A’s classes all compete – so If Director A teaches flute, saxophone, & trombone during 3 class periods, those 3 would compete.  That way Director A can be consistent and give out points however they want.  Also, that way if Director B doesn’t want to do the Super Bowl, no big deal.

Same Class Periods
Sort your clarinets into 2 equal teams – Seat them together for the length of the Super Bowl.
Combine the classes – put flutes & clarinets in the same room and have flutes vs. clarinet. (If you choose to do this, you could do a 1 or 2 day Super Bowl if you don’t want to combine for too long.)
Combine the classes completely – make 2 equal teams mixing flutes & clarinets on each team.  This would make it really fun for the kids if they never get to be with those friends.  However, you won’t be able to do much contest on warm-up exercises for each instrument, so only use this option if you are going to focus on scales, rhythms, books – things that combined instruments can do together easily.

      • How to Present it to the Kids?

With lots of enthusiasm!  Having some type of scoreboard – even just a colored paper or poster board makes it more exciting. Or boxes to keep the scores. Some type of “points” papers.  (Explained under scoring)

But the main thing I’d stress is this:
When the Super Bowl is coming up, people always talk about the teams. But the individual players that make up the team are a big part of it too. Sometimes people know the quarterback, but everyone on that field contributes to the win by executing their own position well. That’s what this game is about. It’s not just a team game.  It’s an individual game too.  So I’m going to go down the row a lot and see if you can execute the play.  I won’t just be hearing the trumpets play most of the time I’ll be hearing Tom and Sally and Jane.  Because individuals being able to execute is the first step to winning. So if you kind of hide in the section and hope you can just sneak through the Superbowl, that’s not how this works. Be ready to play by yourself.  Just like football players have to be able to throw or catch a pass by themselves, block a team member, run, etc.  All the individual efforts put together lead to the win.

Then explain the specifics or you can kind of explain as you go.  But be sure to prep it by telling them that it’s not just a group thing but individuals will be earning points.

      • Scoring

Post as you go – Keep the points on the board throughout the contest. It can be on the white board or some type of “scoreboard.” If you do it this way, you need to keep it fairly equal points until the last day.  If one team jumps way ahead at the beginning it won’t be very fun.  So choose your assignments to keep it equal.  The last day one team can take off without a problem.
Secret with a big reveal – If you want to not have to worry about keeping it equal, you can put points in a shoebox for each team.  Then count it all up on Thursday and do a reveal in each class on Friday.  This might work better if you think keeping track of the points will be too distracting during class or you think one group will win by a landslide.
Paper Points – If you want to use our graphics for the points, click here – Band_Super_Bowl. These can be handed out to students as they earn them or put in a box for each team as they are earned.

      • How to Play

Adjust this to fit your needs!

Here are just a few ideas of what you could do with beginning clarinets. Hopefully, this will help you think of how to make this work best for each of your classes.

Counting –
Day 1 – Have them count a 1 measure rhythm – 4 beats long. Go down the row with each child counting individually – 2 beats of rest in between. If 3 students in a row count it right they get a field goal, if 6 students in a row count it right they get a touchdown and if the 7th or 7th & 8th get it right they get the extra points. (If you don’t have 8 people on a team, start back over if desired. If they mess up that’s a fumble and the game resumes with the next person as the 1st student.

Day 2 – Have them count a simple line of counting and each person counts their own measure. So student 1 counts measure 1, student 2 counts measure 2 etc.  NO rests in between. Practice this ahead of time if possible (the week before) to teach the way to do it. Scoring is the same and a fumble means they start counting again on the next person.

Day 3 – Have them count a big chunk of a counting sheet and play drop-out.  Whoever is left standing at the end gets points for their team.  If it’s 1 person, give them a touchdown.  If it’s 6 people give each of them a field goal.  Whatever feels right.

Warm-up –
Day 1 – Students individually play down their instrument – open G to low E.  (or up from B in the staff to high C – whatever you’re working on)  Same points as the rhythm or you can do it where if they get it right they get 1 point.

Day 2 – Work on crossing the break. If they can play B without squeaking – 1 point. If they can play A-B in half notes with no squeak – field goal, if they can play G,A,B,C in quarter notes without squeaking – touchdown. (Of course, only do this if they can be successful. Otherwise simplify.  I would want about 70% to get some kind of points and at least 1-2 students to get a touchdown. Give them something that the leaders can play.)

Day 3 – Register studies – Whatever types of register studies you’ve been doing. Make up a system similar to the ones above. Mine would be to play low A, 4th space E, high C# above staff – slurred.  If it comes out ok- 1 point, if it comes out right away – field goal, if it comes out right a way and is in tune and the embouchure looks perfect -touchdown. Or you could make it cumulative like with rhythm. Down the row and if 3 students in a row get it, field goal. If 6 get it, touch down. Depends on how new this is.

Chromatic
Day 1 – Name and finger 1 octave up down the row.  Award points similar to above.
Day 2 – Play one octave down or 2 octaves if they know it.  Award points.
Day 3 – Drop-out contest on all you’ve learned of the chromatic. Award points.

Scales
Similar to above requirements/points – change it up each day.

Book
Similar to above requirements/points – change it up each day.
(If you have duets in your book you could have students perform the duets and award points to the best performances.)

If you need extra encouragement for 100% participation or discipline, see this post on Beginning Band Jeopardy to see how you can use the game to help you.  You could give a team a foul or fumble or interception if they are not paying attention and remove points or they lose their turn.  But keep it moving quickly and you won’t need to do much of that.

Be sure you have them all count/play first as a group so they are all getting practice before going down the row.  That will help keep them engaged as well.

Also – build momentum. On the 1st day be a little stingy with points – give out more 1-3 points. On the second day be a little more generous, and by the last day give them out like crazy.  That makes the kids more excited as you go.

Related Posts:
How Using Lanyards Can Help You Listen to Every Student in Beginning Band
Start Your Beginner Flutes the Right Way (Hand Position)
Beginning Band Jeopardy (Teaching Beginning Band with Games)

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