Have you ever played the popular Hedbanz game? This version of “Who am I” rhythm guessing game for band is played similarly and requires very little time and preparation. Consider playing fun games like this during an end of semester theory review or when kids get restless at the end of the year and you need a fun way to keep them learning and to let some energy out.
- Print out a full set of rhythm cards or make your own. (One set for each team. If playing as a large group, you only need one set. If playing in small groups, make enough copies for each team to have a set.) Most of our Band Directors Talk Shop pre-made sets include around 50 cards. Pictured below is a set of Valentines rhythm cards that can be used for a headbands game.
- Using card stock or/or laminating helps preserve them over time but is not necessary.
- We recommend including blank cards as part of your set in case you want to add more rhythms, music symbols, etc. at the last minute. Print multiple copies of blanks so you have them ready when you need them.
- Place in some type of storage container – a large mailing envelope works great.
Basic playing instructions:
- A student draws a card and WITHOUT LOOKING AT IT holds it up to their forehead with the rhythm facing the class.
- The class counts the rhythm out loud.
- The person with the card on their forehead then writes down on the board (or their answer sheet) what he/she thinks they counted.
- The class continues to re-count the rhythm until the guesser answers correctly.
- After the guesser answers correctly, the students trade and someone else gets a turn.
*You can continue like this through all the students or, with larger classes, divide into small groups. 3 kids in a group is perfect if you have enough sets of cards and space, but anywhere from 2-5 students would work well. If you have them play in small groups, have the students record their answers on a blank sheet of paper.
3 playing difficulty levels:
- Beginner Level: Count with the rhythm syllables (1+2+3+4+)
- Intermediate Level: Clap the rhythm or count it on da-da-da
- Advanced Level: Play the rhythm on their instrument
Other ways to use headbands playing cards:
Solo at an ‘Independent Learning Station (center)
- Student studies the rhythm card
- Student writes out the rhythm syllables on the worksheet (or)
- Student plays the rhythm on their instrument
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