Key Signature Scramble is for those students who give you a blank stare when asked “What is the key signature of this piece?”. It’s also for those who continue merrily along forgetting every sharp or flat in a piano piece regardless of how it may sound!
Key Signature Scramble Learning Objective:
To improve students’ comprehension of the effect of key signatures on their piece of music, and to encourage students to be active listeners while they play.
Before playing the game, you will need to create a few short musical excerpts. You can handwrite them onto staff paper or use a free software program like MuseScore. Each of the 3 excerpts will be identical… except for the key signatures. I laminate my game materials to keep them useable for many years. To find an example of what a Key Signatures Scramble Sheet (say that 3 times!) should look like, click here.
Playing Key Signature Scramble
1. Review with your piano students, what a key signature is. Have your students highlight the notes in each of the 3 excerpts on the page that are affected by the key signature.
2. Instruct your students to sight-read the first excerpt. Ask the question “Did that sound right?”
3. Repeat step 2 for each of the 3 excerpts.
4. Tell your students to circle the excerpt they believe to be the correct one.
This game can be extended into your piano students’ method books – have your student play their current piece without a key signature at all, or with the addition or subtraction of a sharp or flat.
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