What’s Missing is a simple listening game that’s easy to set up because all you need to play is a selection of contrasting percussion instruments.
Of course it’s a great way to teach children the names and sounds of the different percussion instruments, but it also develops the listening skills needed to isolate the different sound of each individual instrument.
How To Play The Listening Game
- First you need a selection of contrasting instruments; enough for each child to have something different.
- To start with choose four children to play at a time – one who listens and the other three to play the instruments.
- Once they find this easy, you can add another child with another instrument to make it more challenging.
- One child sits in the middle and listens.
- The first child plays his instrument and announces what he is playing – “One, two, three, four, I’m playing maracas”
- Each child then does the same with his own different instrument in turn, until each one has been played on it’s own.
- Then they play all the instruments together – “One, two, three, four, now we’re playing all together”!
- After the child in the middle has listened to all the sounds and names of each of the instruments, now tell them to close their eyes.
- Then the teacher touches the shoulder of just one of the children to indicate that they should stop playing that particular instrument.
- The child in the middle has to listen very carefully and see if they can tell which one is missing?
- A very simple game which is good for developing concentration and focus.
Visit Music Theory worksheets & Rhythm Games for many more fun ways to learn about music theory!
If you’d like to see how I integrate these sort of activities into a structured music lesson, do check out my Let’s Play Music lesson Plans, which come with detailed teaching notes and printable resources
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