Teaching Note Placement and Identification

by Abby @ Quaver on February 23, 2012

in In the Quaver Classroom!

In December we introduced you to Sarah Jensen – a North Dakota music teacher basking in the glow of her students’ excitement after Skype Day with Quaver!

Sarah is back today to share some hands on tips for teaching Note Names and Placement using Quaver’s Program as a springboard for her own creativity!

Take it away, Sarah!


We are drilling note names at my school this winter. We started by watching Quaver’s Episodes on Lines & Spaces and Notes & Rests, and then we got busy!

I’ve passed along all the extra resources I created for download here on the Quaver Blog! I hope they make lesson planning and getting creative with your class a little easier.

Here’s how I did it:

  • Notes as Gems: I bought some plastic place mats from a dollar store, and on the blank backside I drew a big staff. Then I bought some of those little glass gems that you put in fish bowls and wrote a letter on each one. I ended up with 12 gems going from “alien” Middle C to the G above the staff.
  • Beat Mrs. J: I put the kids in groups and gave them a little container of the 12 gems with a letter on each one and they timed each other to get them all on the staff, in the correct order from Middle C to G. After a little while I challenged the kids to a “beat Mrs. Jensen” game and gave them a 2-note head start. After about 15 tries, a kid beat me! I was even trying to win!

Use the timer in your Online Quaver Classroom Teacher Toolbox for an easy, fun way to make the seconds count!

  • Musical Spelling Words: For another activity, I made some “musical spelling words” and gave them the same place mat staff with little tiny blank glass gems and a stack of cards with musical spelling words made up of the note letters (like CAB, DEAF, BAGGAGE, BEEF, etc). They had to spell them as quickly as possible, and really had a blast!
  • Discovery Bottle: I made some tiny little notes on the staff flashcards and cut them up (the same 12 notes Alien C to G above the staff) and put them in an empty water bottle with some rice, glitter, and a little squinky toy. I hot glued it shut, and Voila: I had a discovery bottle. The kids shook them and shook them looking for all the notes. Once they found them, they had to identify the note and draw it on the staff. Then we did the same thing with key terms from our lesson! My 7th and 8th graders were begging to play it during band.
  • BANG: Finally, I made a game called BANG that uses the note flashcards. Kids draw a card out of an envelope, identify the note and collect as many as they can. If they can’t name the note, they have to put the card back. If they draw a card that has the word BANG on it, they have to throw it back in the envelope. The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the game.

Download Sarah’s tools:


Thanks Sarah for sharing your ideas and resources with other teachers!
Find out how teachers around the country are using Quaver as a launching pad in their classroom by joining them at QuaverQmunity.com!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Nycole Leff November 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Love these lesson ideas!


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