Singing Games with the Full Solfa Scale

Do you use solfa activities or other singing games in your piano teaching? I only started using singing in my lessons in the last few years, but now it’s an integral part of my teaching.

I know how it is, with all the myriad of areas we need to cover as music teachers. It can be hard to fit everything into that 30 or 45 minute lesson.
Which is why I need short bursts of singing games. These quick little exercises improve my student’s musical ears – without taking a stressful amount of the lesson away. Perfect for a busy piano curriculum.

Singing Wall Warm-ups

Or in my case…door. This is the quickest and easiest way to ensure some singing gets included in every lesson – something I’ve been aiming to be more consistent about myself.

Simply stick up the solfa posters (download for free below) to create a solfa scale visual on your wall, bulletin board, or the back of a door.

When students come in you can review the scale by pointing to each note ascending and descending. Then work on some more intervals within the student’s ability.

A fun extension is to start pointing to notes in a way that will recreate part of a piece they’re working on. See if they notice what you’re doing as they sing! 😉

Jumpin’ Solfa

This is great to use for reviewing and drilling the solfa hand signs, and can also be used to review folk songs or rote pieces. Plus it’s just super fun.

  • Lay out the solfa cards loosely on the floor in random order.
  • Ask your student to make the major or minor scale (whichever you’re working on).
  • Tell her to stand in front of a certain starting note and play it on the piano so she can match the pitch. E.g. tell her to stand in front of la and play the starting note D for a D minor scale.
  • Have her jump from one note to the next, singing the scale as she goes. You can both do this together on opposite sides of the cards.
  • Then the real fun starts. Ask her to jump to specific solfa notes, or work out Mary Had a Little Lamb, or practice particular intervals. The possibilities for your new vocal floor piano are pretty endless.

Make sure to print two do cards if you want a full major scale, or two la cards if you want a full minor scale. You might even like a full two sets so you can do low notes and high notes or different modes.

Have fun with it and shake out the wiggles! This activity is a great brain break for when you’re working on a tricky piece or when a student’s energy is low.

Download the Solfa Hand-sign Posters

Enter your details in this box to get the printable for the solfa hand-sign posters.

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.

Full Solfa Scale Flipped Learning Video

In this video, I give a quick run down of what solfa notes are and the hand-signs for each one.

Feel free to send this video to parents for their kids to watch, use it in group lessons or as part of lab time. It’s designed to be clear and concise so that students can watch it – and then get on with some writing work for reinforcement.

This video correlates directly to Thinking Theory Book Two page 18. View the full Thinking Theory series here and see what makes these workbooks so special.

More Flipped Thinking Theory

If you liked this music theory video, you might also like these others:

Do you use singing in your piano studio?

Tell us your favourite singing games and activities in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers community on Facebook. I’d love to hear some new ones as well as how you get on with these.

4 thoughts on “Singing Games with the Full Solfa Scale”

  1. Hi Nicola,

    I would love to join the vibrant music teachers community on Facebook but I can’t join from my studio Facebook page because I only have an iPad – I can only ask to join via my personal page which doesn’t show clearly that I’m a teacher. My studio Facebook page is called FunkyNotes – can you help in any way?

    Thank you for all your resources and podcasts – when I discovered your blog I spent a week reading through every post!

    Elaine x

    Reply
    • Hey Elaine! If you apply and answer the entrance questions I’ll be happy to add you. Groups are always joined from your personal profile, never from the page anyways. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Hello,
    I wanted to download the solfa posters but the email I received was for the Knowit! game (which I already have and use and love!) Is there a different link I can use?
    Thanks Nicola, I love everything you do!!!!

    Laura

    Reply

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