This Game is a fun way for students to practice the notation of open strings by applying a basic knowledge of intervals (seconds and thirds as steps and skips) and get an introduction moving in fifths, as do the open strings on the violin. 

Open String Hop


  • Staff
  • Lines & Spaces
  • Letters of the Open Strings low to high and high to low
  • Steps (line-space or space-line) and Skips (space to space or line to line)


  • Single Staff board with treble clef
  • Open String Letter cards (optional)
  • 4 magic notes or bingo chips
  • Ledger line card
  • 1 small animal, lego or squinky toy that can fit on a magic note circle


  1. Place the treble clef on a Single Staff Board
  2. Place the open string letters to the left of the staff low to high G-E vertically
  3. 1 ledger line card set on bottom staff line for open G note
  4. 4 magic notes of the same color and one animal friend to the side

Play by Play

  • Hold up one hand with palm facing you
    • Review: These five fingers match the 5 lines of the open staff
    • Review: The lowest note of the violin, open G string lives two ledger lines below the lowest line of a staff when we write it - or notate it.
      • Hold up two fingers below your hand.
      • Review that open G is the space below these two ledger lines
      • It’s fun to use your nose as a note head
  • Place one magic note in the Open G space below the staff
  • Place an animal friend on open G (fun to use a frog to hop or a butterfly to flutter)
  • Hop Hop the animal up two spaces (two 3rds or one 5th) to land in open D string space then place a magic note there just to the right of open G.
  • Continue this hop hop until all 4 open strings are notated. You can practice hopping up and down the open strings on the staff board
    • “G hop hop D, hop hop A, hop hop E…..”
  • After this idea of two 3rds is easy the student can then leap the 5th
    • “G leap up to D, leap up to A, leap up to E, leap down to A……”

Sound Connection

  • Ear Training
    • Teacher plucks the open strings (in playing position or with the instrument laying flat) and the child hops the animal to the open string they hear
  • Reading
    • Teacher hops the animal to an open string notated on the staff and the student plucks the open strings low to high, high to low or mixed up while you move the animal to the matching notation.
    • Student and teacher together can write out a pattern of open strings on the staff and then read the pattern out loud (say or singing) while hopping the animal toy, and then later plucking the strings on the instrument.


Open String Hop (Violin) Video