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Card Games as a learning aid

Inside some publications of My First Theory Book (MPM-3002-01) is a page of musical cards that is to be used as a teaching and learning aid to know basic music rudiments and music theory. There are different sets of such cards added in the earlier publications that will be featured in a series of articles here showing how they are to be used. In this instance, this set of cards (Card Game - A) comprise two parts; one representing music notes and the other representing counts/beats in numbers.

Teachers can make music lessons a lot more fun and interesting using these cards. More so, if teaching a group of students.

Obviously, these cards are most suited for the very young students learning music. We can agree that learning is more effective when lessons are fun, exciting and challenging.

For the students of this primary school where we run Rhythm MP's CSR Music Outreach Program, it can be quite a task teaching a large group of students of differing ages from Year 1 to Year 5.

Therefore, to hope that the Year 1 students can somewhat keep up with the Year 5 students, the use of these musical cards come in handy when requiring the students to recognize and memorize the shape of music notes and what they represent.

First, the cards have to be torn along the perforated lines. Two to four students can form a group to play. Distribute the cards equally among the students in the group.

After which, it is merely matching the notes with the correct counts. One student begins by opening a card and the other/s would need to match it with the correct note or count number.

If there are other students observing (as in the photos), they are assigned to check if the cards match. This way, every student from those playing the card games to those observing are learning together.

The students do get excited and they respond with squeals or groans should any student makes a wrong match. Likewise, they clap when the cards match.

Through all the excitement, they learn to recognize the shape of the notes and the count/s each note type represent.

The teacher can also get involved by asking the students to identify the type of note; semi breve, minim or crotchet. 

Another way of playing these cards is to have any number of cards randomly opened and a student is selected to match every card correctly (as shown in the final photo).

When completed, all the students are asked if the cards are correctly matched. If not, pick out those with the wrong answers and match them correctly.

Though the other students were requested to observe this activity silently, it never really happens as instructed.

Usually, as soon as a mistake is made, the observing students who know the correct answer will get anxious and restless, eager to squeal out the correct answer. This is perfectly fine because it simply means that they are learning, they know the answer and they can spot the mistake.