Cow Tails: a music rhythm game

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

Fred Rogers

As you can probably guess from my blog, I love making music theory games! I really enjoy taking a music concept like rhythm or reading notation and coming up with ways to make it fun for the learner.

Recently I began creating downloadable games that teachers can print out to use in lessons and the latest is a rhythm game called ‘Cow Tails’. It’s a ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ style game – but with cows!

Teachers print out the parts of the farm, including a barn where students collect animal cards plus a field containing the cow (I like to call her Delia but your students might come up with their own names!). When students have a full set of one animal in the barn, they get to enter the field and try to pin the tail in the correct place on Delia.

Throughout the game students collect carrot points and there are a few ways to set up the game to determine how they win. Play with one student (there is a colourful leaderboard included to optionally set up a competition between individual students in your studio for extra fun and motivation) or you could even have students play against each other (or teacher versus student!) and the highest scorer is the winner.

The question cards include simple rhythms and are designed to be versatile. Teachers could ask students to clap the rhythm or play on their instrument. Alternatively try a match up game where students find two cards that add up to the same number of beats. Or use the included time signature cards and ask students to pick the missing time signature. There are so many possibilities!

Cow Tails is currently available either from my Top Music marketplace or Teachers Pay Teachers. I hope you enjoy playing it as much as me and my students.

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