This escape room allows students to use their knowledge of note values, note positions on either treble or bass staffs, and time signatures to solve the case of Who Stole the Baton?
Three alternate endings are included so that you can change the ending between classes or chose which musician (instrument) you want to be the culprit. You only have to hide one pair of puzzles (in one location), everything else is print and play! Great for music class, choir, orchestra or band, this escape room is designed for students to work in groups of 3-4, but students could work alone or in larger groups. This escape room activity is new for 2017-2018!
Can I use this from a cart?
Yes! You do not need a dedicated music room for this escape “room.” The clues that need to be hidden, should be hidden near “A FACE.” An image of a conductor conducting is included so that you can print that and use it as your “face.” You could tape that to a regular-size manila envelop and put the clues inside.
What is the prep?
Prep involves printing and hiding one pair of clues (together).
cutting a single page of hint cards and putting the clues for hiding into separate envelops for each team.
How do I use the alternate endings?
Students are given a fictional orchestra seating chart at the beginning. Puzzles 3 and 4 give them the coordinates for one musician’s seat (e.g., H-10). There are three versions of Puzzle 4 that will change the letter and hence the orchestra section of the culprit. Each version has a different instrument shadow so you can easily keep track of which ending you just used. Puzzles 1-3 also have instrument shadows so students will not be suspicious.
Will I have to buy any extra materials?
No, you do not
need any fancy locks or to use any Google forms. One envelope per team is recommended, but optional.
What supplies are needed?
Paper (8.5in x 11in)
A printer (black-and-white copies are fine for most puzzles)
Optional: scissors, envelops
What background knowledge do my students need?
Students should know the values of common notes (eighth note, quarter note, half note, dotted quarter note, whole note, quarter rest, half rest, full rest). The notes are never named in the student materials, so this works for British students as well. They should also know that 4/4 time means four beats per measure. Students should also be able to identify the note positions on either the treble clef or bass clef (both options are included).
What reading level do my students need?
There is only one page of text for students to read (the Maestro’s Note about what happened). The Flesh-Kincaid reading level is 3rd-5th grade depending on if I include the jargon words (e.g., musician, orchestra, instrument; these are longer than the rest of the text) in the analysis. You can assign students to groups to ensure a mix of reading ability.
What will my students do?
Working in small groups of 3-4, your students will cooperate to solve 4 puzzles to find out (1) where the conductor’s baton is hidden and (2) who has stolen it. A single child can complete this (e.g., homeschooler or individual music lessons), but it may take longer and require more hints. The puzzles are:
Students will look at highlighted note positions in sheet music to read “A FACE” which will lead them to the location of Puzzles 3 and 4. This puzzle is available for both treble clef and bass clef
. A half-page photo of a conductor is included that you can use for this.
Students will use a key to decipher a message hidden in a sheet of percussion music. This message will reveal where the baton is hidden.
Puzzles 3 and 4:
The final puzzles need to be combined to read the coordinates on the orchestra seating chart to determine who stole the baton. Puzzle 3 includes sheet music in 4/4 time. Students will add bar lines to divide the music into measures (this gives them a number). Puzzle 4 includes a grid of 30 squares that each contains notes. Students will use their knowledge of note values to color in the squares with 4 beats (this will reveal a letter).
How long does this take?
30-40 minutes. There is an alternative version the hidden message (cipher) puzzle that you can use to make the activity shorter.
What is included in this digital download?
This is a zip folder that includes the following pages as PDFs:
• Easy-to-follow printing and set-up instructions
• A complete walkthrough with solutions to all puzzles
• A diagram of an orchestra setting chart
• A note from a conductor about the missing baton
• A song for note position puzzle in treble clef
• Alternative version of the note position song in bass clef
• A song with a hidden message
• Alternative version of the hidden message song with a shorter message
• A cipher decoder/key
• A bar line puzzle
• A note value puzzle
• A summary to read at the end that explains why orchestras are set-up like they are
• Hint cards for students
• A half-page sized photo of a conductor conducting if you need it for hiding clues
• A poster for your door or cart
• A “you found the baton!” poster
• British English versions of the puzzles where “color” is changed to “colour”
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