I first heard of this game through Samantha Coates at the Winter Piano Teacher’s Seminar and I loved the idea. I have tweaked it a little though.
How to play:-
- Clap a rhythm to your students/class. They have to clap it back to you.
- The only rhythm they can’t clap back is “Don’t clap this one back” (aka crotchet, crotchet, quaver, quaver, crotchet – the one school teachers tend to favour).
- Clap whatever rhythms you like, and throw in the “Don’t clap this one back” rhythm to trick them.
- Don’t eliminate students in this game, as the ones who tend to get out first are generally the ones who need the most practise.
To print out the guide sheet with basic 4/4 rhythms on it (semibreves, minims, crotchets and quavers, no dotted notes), click here: ‘Don’t Clap This One Back’ guide sheet
If you would like flash cards of all the rhythms used on the guide sheet, click here:Don’t Clap This One Back rhythm cards
Variations on the game:-
- Student chooses the rhythms to clap and the teacher/other students have to clap (or not) the rhythm.
- Print out a few copies of the rhythm cards and play memory or concentration, clapping the rhythms each time a card is turned over.
- Students can choose a few rhythm cards, line them up on the piano/music stand for violin and compose a melody using 4 or 5 notes.
- Blu-tac the cards to a wall. Teacher claps a rhythm and the student needs to identify the rhythm card that was clapped.
- Use percussion instruments, one note on the piano/violin, body percussion to tap/clap the cards.
This is a fantastic game to develop those aural skills particularly needed for the ‘clap the melody back’ section in Aural Tests for examinations.