The cup game {A favorite for your music classroom}

22 February, 2013

For this week's Friday Freebie, I thought I'd post one of my students' all-time favorites: the cup game! This activity is a GREAT way to engage your students--especially your older students who are self-conscious about singing.

The cup game for the music room: Helpful blog post with videos of the cup game for upper elementary or middle school music!

My rule is that they have to sing to play the cup game, and they happily oblige! I teach the cup game with the song "I've been to Haarlem." You can download the chant, activity directions, and the song "I've been to Haarlem" by clicking here.

For those of you who are visual learners, I've posted videos of my students performing the chant with the cup game, singing the song while doing the cup game at a normal speed, and then singing the song while doing the cup game at "warp speed"! We do the game for elimination, so if students make a mistake they have to sit out at the end of the song. The circle gets smaller and smaller, and the cup game gets faster and faster! Note: when watching the videos, turn the sound up on the players.

The Cup Game Chant

The Cup Game with "I've been to Haarlem"

The Cup game with "I've been to Haarlem" in "warp speed"!

Please note that the way I learned the cup game is a bit different than most. The version I usually see goes something like "clap clap, tap on the cup, clap up down." This one is a bit seems easier to me, but maybe that's just because that's the way I learned it!

"I've been to Haarlem" is also a great song for low sol and half note. Speaking of half note, I just posted "Songs and Activities to Teach Half Note." You can view it by clicking on the picture below.

Happy teaching!


  1. My kids LOOOVE this game too. I use it to teach accelerando, and use recordings such as In the Hall of the Mountain King to play along with.

  2. Thanks for sharing! This is a great resource! I'll definitely use it with my kids! Thanks a million from Spain!

  3. I am unable to understand the words to the cup routine. Help!


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