Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Music Proficiency Packs

Do you have any of Artie Almeida's Music Proficiency Packs? 
I have 3, so far, and the students love them!

Pack #1--Rhythm Rockets

Each card features 8 simple rhythms with ta, titi, and quarter rests. You can use these as a class activity, small group, or partners. Someone counts a rhythm and then another student identifies the rhythm by moving their clothespin next to the correct rhythm. You could also use the rhythms as a starting point for melodic improvisation on xylophones or recorders.  If you have another idea for these, please share below! I laminated my cards to be more durable. The clothespins are also recycled from another teacher. This can be found at for 14.95.

Pack #2--Sneaky Snake

This game helps students test their knowledge of simple notation symbols. Each card features the symbol on the front and the name on the back. There is a hole next to each symbol. This game is intended to be used with partners. The student viewing the back of the snake would stick the pencil or straw in the hole and the other student would identify the name of the symbol. I use straws so the pencils do not make marks on the card stock. I did not laminate these cards because I did not want to punch holes afterwards. These cards come with the holes already punched and I did not want to take the time to do that myself! This is also 14.95 at

Pack #3--Beat Strips and Rhythm Markers

This game is allows students to practice rhythmic composition. The beat strips are in 4/4 time signature and the rhythms provided are quarter notes, eighth note pairs, and quarter rests. I laminated the beat strips and rhythms before cutting them apart. To contain all the pieces, I used legal sized envelopes. I taped the beat strips to the outside of the envelope and all the rhythm pieces are stored inside the envelope. Students could be given freedom to compose their own rhythms, or they could use these kits to dictate rhythms given by a teacher or student. I have even asked students to dictate simple sol-mi melodies by making the rhythms move higher or lower on the beat strip. Students could also get in small groups and make longer rhythmic phrases by lining up more than one envelope. This pack is also only 14.95 on


Do you have these or any other Proficiency Packs? If so, please comment below sharing your favorite lesson ideas. Pack #5--Melody Mice is next on my wish list!


  1. I want all of these things! Oh my gosh, they're awesome! I'm wondering if I could make them for less than $15 a piece... It'd be more work, but it would also give me the chance to add some variation and change things around. For the composition rhythm pack, how does the half note or whole note work? Does it come in a four beat long strip? It makes me think of the "Count by Measure" cards that I found on the Pianimation webpage...

    For the rhythm rockets (cool idea, by the way) do you think that you're going to let them work in groups? You could separate them into duets and have them work on identification. I'm wondering which would work better...guess it would depend on the class. What grade would you do that with? You showed a couple rockets with pretty basic rhythms but do they come with more complex ones?

    Sorry for so many questions, but this post got me thinking! Thanks for posting. Can't wait to either buy or make these myself!


  2. You may be able to recreate something like this for cheaper. If I were younger and had no children, I would probably attempt that. However, I'm at a point were my time is more valuable than saving $15.
    The beat strips, unfortunately do not have half notes. This is something I have thought about creating to add to the packs.
    All rhythm rocket cards have the identical rhythm so that you could do it as a whole class trying to identify the same rhythm or a small group. I have though about making a blank rocket to let students compose their own rhythms for the game but I haven't tried to implement that yet.

  3. Thanks for the great feedback! I can't wait to go and make some of these or maybe buy them. I'm a maker, not a buyer (but I don't have the kids... yet ;D). I'll let you know how they turn out. LOVE THESE!