Leadership Inspirations Activities

Riff Off

 Test your musical knowledge with this fun icebreaker


10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Forming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Energizer, Icebreaker


Scratch paper, pens or pencils



This activity is a great way to get groups of people to work together in a fun musical competition.



  • Break participants up into small groups of 4-7 people.


  • During each round, choose one word for participants to brainstorm as many songs as possible that contain the chosen word in its lyrics. Set a thirty second time limit for the brainstorming phase. For example, if the chosen word is “love”, participants will have 30 seconds to brainstorm as many songs that contain the word love in the lyrics. They may NOT use their phones or the internet to help in their ideation.
  • After finishing brainstorming, each group will choose one song to sing from their list that contains the lyrics with the chosen word. It is important to tell the participants that for their song to count, everyone in the group has to sing.
  • After one group sings, the group to the right will go next and sing one of their songs. The activity continues until one group does not have any more songs to sing. That group is *clap clap* cut off, or eliminated from the activity.
  • The activity continues into another brainstorming phase with a different word, and the groups compete each round until there is only one group left.


  • Instead of eliminating groups, the group who gets *clap clap* cut off just can’t participate for one round.
  • Try using obscure words to make the activity more challenging. Instead of choosing popular words like “love” or “tonight”, try words like “car” or “mother”.


  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?


  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?