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Valentine Music Games for Piano Lessons and the Music Classroom

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and I’ve been having fun brainstorming games to play with piano students. Most of these Valentine music games will work with piano students, flute students, violin or string students, and some even in the music classroom.

Valentine Music Games - 7 music games to teach note names, intervals, white keys, melodic dictation, rhythmic dictation, sharps, flats, and more![/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=

Jelly Hearts Rhythm Dictation

Valentine Music Game - Rhythm Dictation[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=Supplies:

  • Jelly hearts (I purchased these at Walmart.
  • Flexible straws (Bend the flexible part and then cut the bottom half of these in half.) You’ll have a set of short straight straws and a set of short bendable straws.
  • 1 flexible straw cut into small 1/4 inch pieces. These will be the dots for dotted quarter notes

To play:

Give students about 10 jelly hearts and 10 sets of straws that you have cut (5 straight and 5 bent) and 3-4 uncut straws (for the bar lines) and a few of the very small 1/4 inch straw segments. Ask them to insert half of their straight straws into the jelly hearts to make quarter notes and then the other half into the jelly hearts to make eighth notes.

Start by playing a one measure rhythm with just quarter notes. Ask them to write the rhythm they hear. Then proceed to dictate one measure rhythms that also include dotted quarter notes and eighths.

If you’d like to also have half notes included, have your students insert a straw through the center of a few jelly hearts and then pull it back through to remove the middle. Of course, this will work better if you have a bigger straw, but they’ll get the idea that the notes with the holes in it are half notes.

Eat the candy!

Valentine Music Games - Melodic Dictation (Free alto clef, tenor clef, treble and bass clef staff)![/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=Valentine Melodic Dictation

Melodic dictation seems like a difficult activity for only more advanced students. But you can play this with beginners as well! To play with beginners, play all quarter notes and simply have them listen to the direction of notes and place their candy or erasers in the direction that they hear the notes going.


  • Jelly hearts or heart erasers (I found a set of 60 in the Target dollar aisle)
  • Music staff (Download all clefs here including treble, bass, alto, tenor, and grand staff)

To play: 

Give each student a music staff (or you can omit the staff to just indicate direction with the hearts) and a number of jelly hearts or erasers. If you are using a staff, tell students where to place their first heart. Then, play a 4 note melody using just steps or repeated notes asking students to notate what they hear with their hearts. Continue with this activity making sure that students are getting at least 3 motives correct before you make the melody harder. To make melodies more difficult, include skips in the tonic triad, notes outside of a 5 finger pattern, and then sharp and flatted notes if appropriate. See Flats and Sharps below for instructions on making flats and sharps.

Eat the candy!

Valentine Music Games - Sharp and flat game[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=Sharp and Flat Fun

Here’s a fun activity to help students differentiate both how sharps and flats look and how they sound.


  • Music Staff – laminated is best (Download all clefs here including treble, bass, alto, tenor, and grand staff)
  • Jelly hearts
  • Twizzlers pull n’ peel candy – cut 1 1/4 inch segments then put into a plastic bag. It’s important to keep these fresh as they’ll stick together (when making the flats) better.

To play:

Give each student a laminated music staff, 2 jelly hearts and a 1 1/4 inch segment of Twizzlers. Tell the student to put their 2 jelly hearts on the same line or space on the staff, but to leave room between the 2 hearts. Play 2 notes, the second either one half step up or one half step down. The student should make a sharp or a flat out of their Twizzler candy and place it in front of the second heart. The Twizzler candy will stick together, so just have them squeeze it together as in the picture.

Eat the candy!

Valentine Music Games - Music Intervals[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=Interval Valentine Music Game

This activity will help students identify and notate intervals.


  • Music Staff – laminated is best (Download all clefs here including treble, bass, alto, tenor, and grand staff)
  • Jelly hearts or heart erasers

To play: 

Give each student a music staff. Play a note on the piano and ask them to put their first jelly heart on that note on the staff. Then, cover your hands so that students can’t see them and play the first note, then a note that is an interval above that note. Ask the student to put their 2nd jelly heart on the correct line or space.

Eat the candy!

Valentine Music Games - Valentines for Music Students[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=Valentine Music Word Game

Download the Valentine Music Words if you don’t have them already! You can use these for this game, to give as valentines, or to decorate your studio.


Invite two students to stand behind a table with the call bell between them. Instruct them to keep their hands behind their back until they are reaching to ring the call bell. Show them one of the Valentine Music Words and the student to hit the bell and answer immediately with the correct word or phrase gets to keep the card. The student with the most cards wins.

Valentine Music Games - Identify white key note names[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=White Key Note Name Game

There are so many ways to play this white key note name game!


  • A heart eraser (I don’t really want to risk getting my piano keys sticky!) and another eraser (different color or shape)
  • A piano keyboard – use either the real piano or these printable piano keyboards.
  • A music dice with letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G on it. Since there are 7 letters, I put F/B on the same side of the dice when I made mine.)

To play Game 1:

Give your student an eraser and ask him or her to put their eraser on the note that you call out as fast as possible.

To play Game 2: 

Start with both erasers at the bottom of the keyboard. Take turns rolling the dice and advance your eraser up to the next closest note that corresponds to the eraser. Whoever gets to the top first wins!

Valentine Music Games - Shape it![/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=Shape It

It seems that students always have trouble knowing how to draw a treble clef, among other musical symbols. This is a great game to help them think through how to make these musical shapes.


  • Valentines candy corn

To play:

If you are doing a group lesson, divide your students into two teams. Call out a musical symbol (listed below) and give points to which team makes a recognizable symbol the fastest and the most well made (so give out 2 sets of points for every symbol). Symbols might include:

  • Treble clef
  • Bass clef
  • Music staff
  • Sharp, Flat, or Natural
  • Dynamics: Forte, mezzo forte, mezzo piano, piano
  • Accents
  • Hearts (you gotta throw some valentine shapes in there)
  • Heart with an arrow through it

Have fun with these Valentine Music Games and let me know if you think of other variations!

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  1. Susan McGuire February 3, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Wow – thank you, Wendy!! Who knew – Tsizzlers becoming flats! I knew there was a reason I bought 3 boxes of those heart candies. Now to find the rest and get started. Love, Susan in Iowa City.

  2. Kelly Koch February 3, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Oh my goodness….learning with candy. What can be better for a kid! You just made my lesson plan for the next 2 weeks! Thank you so much!

  3. Cindy February 3, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Very helpful, as always, thank you Wendy!

  4. Joanne February 3, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Your awesome. Thanks so much! ???? ????

  5. Cynthia February 3, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Love all these ideas! Thanks. Suggestion for an alternative to the die for selecting a letter–a little iPhone app called Spinny Wheel. You customize the wheel–I have one for each level with the musical alphabet. The kids love tapping to spin and waiting for the answer. You can set it to remove each letter after it’s been selected once or twice, so you don’t land on the same one again and again. I also have another similar app on the iPad and use these constantly.

  6. Wendy Stevens February 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Yes, that’s a great idea, Cynthia! Thanks for reminding me about using one of those spinning apps!

  7. Grace February 3, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you! Great additions to my Piano Olympics competition and my music classroom at school.
    What a treasure it is to come to your site, Wendy!

  8. Leigh February 7, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Would the app Decide Now work for the spinner that Cynthia described as well instead of the die?

  9. Wendy Stevens February 7, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Oh yes, I think that’s the same idea, Leigh!

  10. Wendy Stevens February 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you for coming, Grace! It’s great to have you here. Let me know if you have any questions!


  11. Leigh Stringfield February 7, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I love all these ideas to use for my Group Lessons this week! Hope we have time for all of them in an hour since it will be sooooo hard to not do every one! And they always like your Rhythm Cup Explorations, too! Decisions, decisions. The mom of the ADD children I teach isn’t going to be happy with me with all the red candies I will be using since she only likes them to have chocolate! Oops!

  12. Emily Zimmerman February 3, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks so much for these ideas Wendy. I’m planning a group lesson and needed some ideas. I have to say though that I’m most thrilled with the opportunity to download and print the grand staff. I had drawn my own version by hand and use it all the time with pennies to help my students name notes and intervals, but it is on two pieces of paper and leaves much to be desired. But yours is much nicer but still big enough for pennies!!

  13. Sharon Marble February 6, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Great ideas, particularly using the small candy conversation hearts!
    Another one that I’m doing this year is giving students pipe cleaners (I found a package of pink/red/white ones at a Dollar Store) and having them form treble clefs, or double/single eighth notes.

  14. Jahn Crews February 8, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Jahn Crews

    Thanks for the Valentine game ideas. They will be put to use next week & probably the following, as well. You are definitely on my Valentine list! Your Olympic games were very helpful and fun last Sun. with my group of students. I feel so smug showing interest in current events and tying it into our music classes/lessons. Greatly appreciate you ideas!!! Happy Valentines Day!

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