How to Develop Students’ Music Reading Skills Using Boom Cards

Music Literacy Boom Cards provide upper level REAL learning opportunities and they can be an important tool to help develop students’ music reading skills. Best of all, Boom Cards are FUN! Your students will be motivated to “play” in a game-like setting and work to improve their scores.

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How to Develop Students' Music Reading Skills | Elementary Music Classroom and Beyond

Advantages of Using Boom Cards

If you have never used Music Literacy Boom Cards, you might be surprised to know that they reinforce REAL music literacy skills. Sequential rhythmic dictation, melodic dictation, musical pattern identification sets, and more are perfect for reinforcement, practice, or assessing music reading levels.

A few advantages of Boom Cards. . . . .

  • Boom Cards are self-checking. They give students immediate feedback.
  • When students make a mistake, they listen again and fix it.
  • Boom Cards do not have to be 1:1 activities with each student having their own device. They may be used as large group activities with the activities displayed on a white board as all students answer using simple manipulatives.
  • By using the FastPlay Link, there are NO STUDENT LOGINS!
  • Boom Cards may be easily assigned through your school’s LMS, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, etc., email, or even QR codes.
  • Sequential sets of Boom Cards make differentiation simple.
  • Students may repeat the same set of Boom Cards multiple times to improve their scores.
  • Boom Cards are economical. The same set of Boom Cards may be assigned to all students enrolled in the purchasing teacher’s classes.
  • Boom Learning offers FREE teacher accounts.

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Do you Need Professional Development Credit?

Would you like to earn professional development credit for learning how to develop your students’ music reading skills using Boom Cards? World Upside Down is offering free professional development credit when you complete this video tutorial sequence through their FREE Elementary Teacher Membership.

Click below to register. Then, navigate to the Boom Cards modules. Complete this series of Boom Cards tutorials in the membership and receive support in the private class Facebook group. Upon completion, you will receive a professional development certificate.

Bonus: World Upside Down is providing quality professional development opportunities for elementary music teachers through their FREE membership.

Are Boom Cards Really Beneficial for the Music Classroom?

Absolutely. But the best way to tell you about the ways that sequential Music Literacy Boom Cards can help your students’ develop their music literacy skills is to show you. The video below will give you a succinct introduction to what Music Literacy Boom Cards are and why you should add them to your educational repertoire.

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:12 – Where to Obtain Boom Cards
  • 0:38 – How to Download and Redeem Boom Cards
  • 1:40 – Using Custom Categories
  • 2:10 – Download Free Melodic Dictation Boom Cards
  • 2:28 – Extract PDF Documents from Zip File
  • 3:17 – Redeeming Boom Cards Using Product Link
  • 3:44 – Create Boom Teacher Account
  • 4:55 – Accessing Boom Cards from your Library
  • 5:09 – Assigning Boom Cards using a FastPlay Link
  • 6:37 – Boom Cards and Copyright
  • 7:05 – FastPlay Links Expire in 14 Days

From the Students’ View

Now that you have your FREE Boom account set up and you have a set of Boom Cards assigned to use with your students, let’s see what it looks like from the students’ view. You will also learn a work-around to get student scores while using the FREE teacher account.

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:27 – Accessing Boom Cards from the Students’ View
  • 1:23 – So Mi Melodic Dictation Boom Cards
  • 1:52 – Students Should Correct Any Mistakes
  • 2:15 – Submitting Students’ Scores
  • 2:56 – Account Recommendations

Using Boom Cards with Manipulatives

The best way to introduce your elementary music students to Music Literacy Boom Cards is as large group activities with all students “writing” their answers using manipulatives. Both melodic and rhythmic dictation work well with simple manipulatives.

Developing Students' Music Reading Skills | Melodic Dictation
FREE Treble Clef Staff

Boom Cards are NOT the best choice to introduce musical elements. But, after your students have had experience reading, singing, and performing the targeted musical elements, Boom Cards are the perfect choice for reinforcing and/or assessing learning.

Developing Students' Music Reading Skills | Rhythmic Dictation Using Popsicle Sticks
Stick Dictation
Developing Students' Music Reading Skills | Rhythmic Dictation Using Duplo-Style Blocks and Paper Templates
Duplo-Style Rhythm Blocks
Developing Students' Music Reading Skills | Rhythmic Dictation Using Printable Manipulatives and Templates
Printable Rhythm Blocks

Boom Cards as Whole-Class Activities

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:25 – Rhythmic Dictation Boom Cards
  • 1:02 – Stick Dictation
  • 1:25 – Rhythm Block Manipulatives
  • 1:41 – Printable Paper Manipulatives
  • 2:03 – Recommended Teaching Process
  • 2:30 – Melodic Dictation Boom Cards
  • 3:19 – Rhythm Pattern Identification
  • 4:32 – Treble Clef Note Names

Differentiation is Easy with Boom Cards

One of the biggest advantages of using sequential Music Literacy Boom Cards is the ability to easily differentiate activities. Boom Cards allow music teachers to meet their students where they are. Students may repeat the same set, step down to a simpler set, or work through a series of Boom Cards at their own pace. This gives advanced students who may be taking private lessons the ability to soar.

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:39 – How NOT to use Boom Cards
  • 1:02 – Various Ways to Use Boom Cards in Your Classroom
  • 1:43 – Differentiating Instruction
  • 2:22 – More Ways to Use Versatile Boom Cards
  • 3:09 – Accessing our FREE Boom Cards Decks
  • 3:34 – How to Contact Us with Your Questions, Comments, Requests

Develop Students’ Music Reading Skills Using Sequential Boom Cards Series

All of the Music Literacy Boom Cards Series below may be used as large group activities, as centers or stations, or as 1:1 activities where each student has their own device. They are beneficial in the elementary music classroom, for hybrid or flipped classrooms, for homeschool, or the private studio.

From a Few Happy Teachers. . . . .

🎶 It can be particularly hard to find quality assessments for the aural skills that were included in this set. This was very convenient and easy-to-use for both teachers and students. Thanks.

🎶 What a wonderful way to review and practice ear training and dictation! I used it with both f2f and virtual students and they all loved it. They don’t even know I am assessing them since it is a fun game! The bigger kids get pretty competitive!

🎶 This is an excellent resource for distance learning as well as in-class review and reinforcement. This Boom Cards bundle has the basic Sol-Mi and increases through the solfege scale with the different sets. Students work at their own pace and can work through any set as many times as needed/wanted to grow more proficient. Each solfege “tone” is a different color so it’s visually helpful as well as aurally clear to listen to and build ear-training skills.

Developing Music REading Skills Can Be Fun for Students and Teachers

Boom Cards add another dimension to learning ear training and music reading skills. The activities are fun for students and they progress through a sequential path to developing necessary skills. Similar to instrumental method books, each series provide concrete benchmarks.

Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Newsletter to get your 5 FREE sets of Boom Cards.

Check out the free elementary music teacher membership at World Upside Down where you can receive professional development credit for completing this short video tutorial sequence. Each month World Upside Down drops new beneficial trainings.


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