Sorry! It’s a game :)

Here at Small Town Music Lessons, we spend time at the piano reviewing and learning pieces and songs, doing a great amount of music theory, covering technique, and playing games.  A few games recently adapted from the familiar, fun, fascinating original form to a more musical style have been… Hi Ho Cherry-O Candyland Jenga Don’t Break the Ice Bingo … and many, many more, some are original inventions made by those in the studio. This week’s new addition has been the classic game “Sorry”. Enjoy, and ask questions if you’d like. I’m sure the students would love hearing from anyone who visits this page – we’ve worked hard to bring forth a game we all enjoy, tweaked just a little to be thoroughly about music. IMG_2240.JPG  IMG_2239.JPG To answer one teacher’s questions…

Yes :) Bumping applies, for landing on or sliding past someone. They can get out of “Start” with any card, and it’s fun to see how students strategize whether to race around with one piece at a time or to bring all pieces out into play. I kept rules simple so all they’re basically doing is reviewing flashcards (without realizing it). Gameplay is better with 4 players, rather than 2 or 3, but nothing has stopped us from pulling out the game when we have about 10 minutes to spare or a student is suddenly needing a change in routine and a review of the music staff notes. We often pair the actions in the game with application through the addition of drawing the matching note on a whiteboard or naming an interval (different cards), or even creating a very strange melody for sight reading later :) Anytime I can make a mundane task fun, I’ll do it – as long as the fun doesn’t diminish the quality or quantity of work necessary to learn. When students are enjoying the task at hand, they won’t mind doing what would normally be a bore. Make the activity fun and they will love it! Make the activity educational and they will learn. Make the activity memorable and they will ask to do it again and again – and you will rest assured they are doing review and reinforcement without hesitation. By the end, your students will be flying through their flashcards or tasks with ease, feeling great about their skill, and ready to tackle the next great thing you present to them.

20 thoughts on “Sorry! It’s a game :)

  1. I love this idea! Do you have the actual game instructions posted somewhere! It’s been years since I played the actual game of Sorry! so the instructions for your music version would be really helpful! Thanks!


  2. Love this idea! Do you have the actual instructions posted somewhere? It’s been years since I’ve played the actual Sorry! game so instructions for your music version would be helpful. Thanks!


  3. This looks fun, but I don’t know how to implement it. Could you kindly post the details of the cards and process of the game? I noticed that it was requested a while back, and you may have already provided the instructions, but I couldn’t find them. Also, you mentioned other games. Do you have them posted somewhere?
    Thanks a bunch!!


    • Thank you for stopping over! :) I’ll work on that. This game is a lot of fun in lessons, and I’m constantly tweaking how it is played. I do – the website is going through a rebuild, and some of the articles are temporarily archived in the shuffle – Hi Ho Cherry O and Jenga are my two other favorites :) I’ll try to build the articles section of the site soon. Thank you for checking.


  4. Pingback: 8 Games For Teaching Music – Lesson Plans

    • I’m so glad! :) If you do, please share about it! Adapting commonly used games is so fun! And students already love the originals,… having a modified musical version makes it even more of an attraction. Thank you for commenting :)


    • Hi Carolyn,
      Thanks for stopping by and checking :) I actually just bought a Sorry game board with the pieces at the local thrift store and adapted it with letters from the music alphabet & the occasional music symbol. I imagine it could easily be used in many different music applications.


  5. I bought the Sorry game, Cherry o game and Jenga after seeing your page. Do you have the directions and suggestions (after your tweaking) available yet? Thanks so much!


    • Wow! :) What an honor! I’m glad you were able to use these ideas. I haven’t actually done any tweaking… and if I did, it was so minor, that it just became habit. I don’t have any specific directions for “Sorry”. Honestly, when I have played it with students, it just takes sooooo long to complete. We haven’t used it very much, and in the future, we’ll probably just use 2 pieces instead of all 4. I’d probably label the spaces differently – it bothers me that the number of spaces from one point to a matching point on the next board side aren’t actually the right number of spaces for a complete music alphabet. The costs were really low, since I purchased the materials at the thrift store, so I don’t mind trying it a few more times with different things labeled & playing around with some rules. I did throw out the original cards though and replaced them with music staff cards. Students love the game – but I just need to figure out how to make it significantly shorter without stopping the game before a winner is truly discovered. Let me know, please, how the games are working for you! :)


  6. This game looks like a lot of fun, and I’m sure my students would LOVE it. Could you please post the instructions for how to play?


    • I’m so sorry, Marilyn. At this time, I don’t have instructions clearly outlined in my mind. Students and I just figure it out in similar ways to the original “Sorry” game rules, but using only music symbols & terms. I still have to do some tweaking of the turns & duration, but it is a fantastic game with a lot of potential and even more variations! :) Let me know what you come up with :)


  7. I would love to know how you play this game with your cards. I would love a link to the cards as well! Also can you tell us what you wrote on the game board?


    • Hi Crystal,

      I don’t have the rules outlined, but my students and I just used the original gameplay rules as a guide – and worked it out as we went. The problem, though, is that it is entirely too long. I’m planning on shortening it by having only 2 pawn pieces per player – and then we should be able to actually finish the game with a clear winner & make sure everything flows with the rules and strategy and turns we imagined in our planning :)

      I’m afraid I don’t remember where I got the cards. I’m hoping a fellow teacher who is familiar with the cards can chime in and help us out with that.

      I wrote the music alphabet and a variety of music symbols on the board :)



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