Off-the-bench Catalogue – Music Theory Games & Activities by Level

Getting students off-the-bench is so important. It keeps kids focussed, having fun and using different parts of their brain to really embed that knowledge. BUT it can be hard to find that perfect music theory game when you need it, and so I’ve put together this catalogue…

Music theory games round-up post

Music theory games and activities round-up by level

This is a list of some of the fabulous music theory games and activities that teachers around the world are sharing for use in piano lessons.

I have organised these music theory games by the concepts in my Thinking Theory series. In the last section you’ll find a list of “adaptable” games that can be used with pretty much any student.

Post Update

Since this post was first published, I have seen more and more need for true organisation and categeorisation of music theory games, so that teachers can use them more effectively.

That’s why I’ve launched the Vibrant Music Teaching library. This membership provides fantastically organised games & activities as well as supporting videos and trainings for music teachers.

Become a member here and discover what games can really do in your music teaching studio.

Initial Lessons

Finger numbers

Black key groups

Thinking Theory Prep Book

Music Alphabet & Piano Keys

Steps & Skips

Crotchets, Minims, Dotted Minims & Semibreves

(Quarter, Half, Dotted Half & Whole Notes)

Time Signatures

Piano & Forte


2nds and 3rds

Bass C, Bass F, Middle C, Treble G & Treble C

Vibrant Music Teaching members, you can access this resource inside the VMT library. Not a member yet? Find out more about becoming a member here.

Thinking Theory Book One

Notes on the Staff

Rests, Dotted Crotchets & Quavers

(Dotted Quarter & Eighth Notes)



Enharmonics, Semitones & Tones

(Half & Whole Steps)

Rit, Ritard, Rall, Repeats & Articulation

C & G Major Scales

Allegro, Allegretto, Moderato & Andante

Thinking Theory Book Two

Note Stem Rules

Ledger Line Notes

Dotted Quavers, Semiquavers, Quaver Rests & Semiquaver Rests

(Dotted Eighth Notes, Sixteenth Notes, Eighth Rests & Sixteenth Rests)

Tempo Marks & Changes and Expression Marks

C, G, F & D Major Scales

Major Triads

Thinking Theory Book Three

Grouping Notes & Rests

C, G, F, D & B flat Major Scales

Intervals in Major Scales

A, E & D Minor Scales (Natural, Harmonic & Melodic)

Minor Triads

Vibrant Music Teaching members, you can access this resource inside the VMT library. Not a member yet? Find out more about becoming a member here.

Adaptable Games

Did I miss something out?

I hope you enjoy this catalogue. Leave a comment if I’ve missed one of your faves, I’m always on the hunt for new free games. 🙂

I’ll do my best to keep this post up to date with any new games so check back again!

Do you need theory workbooks to go with these games?

The Thinking Theory workbooks take this same sense of fun and games and apply it to written theory exercises. There are even correlated games included!

See the full insides of all the Thinking Theory workbooks here to check if they might be a good fit for you and your piano students.

14 thoughts on “Off-the-bench Catalogue – Music Theory Games & Activities by Level”

  1. Wow, this is very helpful. Thank you! You might also want to check out the Piano Game Club at Teach Piano Today. This is an enormous project, you are incredible!

  2. This is so helpful! I keep trying to find fun activities for a 4 year old I’m soon going to be teaching. Thank you for creating this!

  3. Thank you for putting this list together! I enjoyed discovering some more fun games that I didn’t have on my Piano Game Resource List (heidispianonotes.blogspot.com). A couple of my favorites not listed are found on Layton Music (D’net Layton Piano) including Piano Candyland and Go Fish Triads. I love how Candyland can be used simultaneously at group lessons with beginners learning piano key names and more experienced students naming staff and ledger line notes.

  4. I am returning to piano teaching after teaching elementary music for 23 years. I am shocked at what resources I am finding. I wish I could have made those previous years more interesting with the games. At least I can start now and do my best for these students.– thanks!!

  5. I’m having trouble with most of these links not working. Most of the games listed on your site take me to an error page, and all of the Pianimation games take me to a “connection failed” page. Do a lot of these games not exist anymore?

    • Hi Kelsey! Thanks for alerting me to this. I’ve fixed the links on my site, but unfortunately Pianimation doesn’t appear to be updated anymore. Might just have to remove those. :/


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