Saturday, February 9, 2013

Once every year our music room is the venue for an event I like to call the “Music World Series,” a tournament of music baseball games that have helped my classes with both instruction and assessment.

The Concept

Music baseball works something like this:

  • Students are divided into two teams (they create team names, a fun element for them) and line up in a batting order that can be determined any number of ways.
  • Instead of pitching baseballs, the students use a “pitcher’s mound” table to pitch musical questions.

  • When a student steps up to “bat,” they choose the difficulty level of the question they will receive.
o   First Base – the easiest questions

o   Second Base – a level harder

o   Third Base – more challenging

o   Home Run – the most difficult questions
  • I set up four bases in the classroom (the final rounds take place in our gym).  If a “batter” gets a question right, they advance to the corresponding base.  RBI’s do happen in music baseball!  If a student answers a third base question, that students waits on third base, and if the next student correctly answers a question, the first student runs home and scores a point for their team!
  • Musical questions can include anything, but I divide them into four general categories:
o   Melody (everything from solfege hand signs to staff notation)

o   Rhythm (clapping, counting, identifying note values, etc.)

o   Instruments (recognizing instruments, knowing their families, etc.)

o   Listening (identifying composers, genres, cultures, instruments, etc.)

 Training Stations

For at least one full class session preceding the tournament, students rotate through four training stations corresponding to the four musical categories from which the music baseball questions come.  These stations have proven invaluable for musical instruction and review.  The specifics for individual stations can range from flashcards to computer stations to iPad activities.  During class, I use this opportunity to rotate through the stations and give students individual and small group attention.

The music baseball games themselves have become excellent sources for musical assessment that spans multiple standards.  What’s more, the students love it and look forward to it all year!
Pin It button on image hover