Slap Happy Music Math | Free Music Lesson Plan (Rhythm Game)

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Want to turn music lesson review into playtime?

Slap Happy Music Math is a wacky music review game for reinforcing rhythm values in elementary music students. The music teacher draws a large circle on the white board and writes the answers to 10-12 music math questions (Example: Half Note + Whole Note = 6 Beats). Students slap the number in the circle that provides the correct answer (Example: 6).


Grade 2-6


Students will learn and drill basic rhythmic values including the whole note, half note, and quarter note. Rest values could be substituted for rhythmic values. This lesson is designed to fulfill Standard #5 of the National Standards for Music: Reading and notating music.


White board
White board marker

'Slap Happy Music Math' Music Lesson Plan

Step 1
Teach and/or review the symbol and value for the whole note, half note, and quarter note.

Step 2
Write six music math problems on the white board (in music notation):

1) Whole Note + Half Note
2) Quarter Note + Half Note
3) Quarter Note + Whole Note
4) Whole Note + Whole Note
5) Quarter Note + Quarter Note
6) Half Note + Half Note

Ask the students to add the values and provide the answer to each problem until the class is moderately successful.

Step 3
Draw a large circle on the white board. Write two sets of the numbers 1-10 within the circle. One set on the left side of the circle and one on the right. The numbers can be in random order.

Step 4
Divide students into two teams and establish a "batting order" for each team.

Step 5
Call the first player from each team to the board.

Step 6
Tell the students, "I will call out two rhythms to add together. Add the values of the rhythms as fast as you can, and then slap the number in the circle that provides the correct answer. The first one to slap the right answer gets a point for their team. Your team members may not help you. If they do, the point will automatically go to the other team. The team with the most points when the class period ends is the winner."

Step 7
Begin game continuing to call players from each team until time runs out.

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