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Staff Hopscotch

Aim: What is the difference between a step and a leap?
Summary: Students explore relative pitch through listening and movement.
Standards: US 5, 6; NYC 1, 2
Grade: 2nd
Concept: Pitch
Artistic Process: responding
Materials: painter’s tape, pitched percussion instruments (e.g., glockenspiels, Orff instruments, piano)
Time Required: 10 minutes


  1. Create a staff on the floor using five horizontal lines of tape.
  2. Have students identify the lines and spaces on the floor staff by placing their feet on either the lines or the spaces.
  3. Have students walk in steps on the floor staff (i.e., line to space, space to line, line to space, etc.).
  4. Have students hop/skip in leaps on the floor staff (i.e., space to space, line to line, or more than two lines/spaces away).
  5. Discuss the difference.
  6. Show what a step and leap looks and sounds like on pitched percussion instruments. How is it similar to the floor staff? How is it different?
  7. Have students take turns listening to a step or leap on the pitched percussion instruments and then demonstrate what they heard on the floor staff.

Going Deeper

Transfer step and leap knowledge to staff writing. Use this activity as an introduction to exploration of scale and note names on the staff.


Grade 2 Activity Exemplar: Pitch

This video is an exemplar of an activity from Carnegie Hall’s Music Educators Toolbox entitled "Staff Hopscotch." Students explore relative pitch through listening and movement.


Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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