Our two girls spend most of their summer floating in lakes, rivers, and oceans on pool noodles. For the rest of the year we store them awkwardly in a sports bin that sits in the corner of our garage (the pool noodles… not our children…)
And because those noodles never stand up neatly in the bin, every time we shut our garage door a pool noodle gets trapped underneath, triggers the sensor and re-opens the garage door.
It drives Trevor crazy. So when I suggested we cut up our pool noodles for a piano game he was more than happy to release some pent up rage on his noodle nemeses.
Keep reading below to learn how you can have a ton of fun reinforcing chord inversions with pool noodles with this hands-on piano game.
Pool Noodle Chord Inversions
When summer ends, your pool noodles will be a little worse for wear. So, before they disintegrate into little bits, put them to use with our Pool Noodle Chord Inversions Game. We’ve described the game in detail below, but you’ll probably find it easier just to watch the video below:
How To Play:
During the game your student will be attempting to create root, 1st inversion or 2nd inversion chords by arranging the pool noodle bits on the paper towel dispenser in the correct order. This is accomplished by completing the following steps:
- Gather two pool noodles, a knife, a sharpie, a paper towel holder, a die, and a timer.
- Using a knife (carefully!) cut your pool noodles into 4 inch blocks. Label these noodle blocks (using your sharpie) with the chord tones you’d like to reinforce. For example, if your student is learning about C Major you would label them with C, E and G. We suggest starting with 4 different chords (for example, C, G, D and E major). I like to label the root of each chord on a different colored pool noodle so students can clearly see the root in each inversion they create.
- Arrange all of the noodle blocks on the floor around the paper towel holder and set the timer.
- Pass your student a noodle block labelled with a root note. Have your student select the two noodle blocks labelled with the chord tones found within that chord.
- Next, instruct your student to roll the die. If she rolls a 1, 3 or a 5 have her stack the noodle blocks on the paper towel holder to create a 1st inversion of the chord (as determined by the root note). If she rolls a 2 or a 4 have her stack the noodle blocks to create a 2nd inversion chord. If she rolls a 6, have her stack the noodle blocks to create a root chord.
- Once the noodle blocks have been stacked correctly, remove them and then repeat Steps 3 – 5.
- Keep playing until your student has successfully used each noodle block labelled with a root note and then stop the timer. Record your student’s time. She can attempt to beat this time in future games.
More Off-Bench Fun For Tweens And Teens
If you’re a regularly reader of the Teach Piano Today blog you know that we love sharing games and activities that gives kids educational breaks away from the piano. But when looking back on past posts we noticed a heavy focus on the under-10 piano student crowd. So this year… and beyond we’ve committed to bringing more fun to your studio for your older students!