How to Play Musical Chairs – The Perfect All Ages Game!

The Best Kind of Charity

Musical chairs is the perfect game for people of all ages regardless of venue. Be it the classroom, home, party at a local arcade, or even whacky corporate events, you can never get tired of the thrill and adrenaline associated with this iconic game. As timeless as it may be, the exact origin of the game is up for debate. Numerous countries, most notably the US, Israel, Russia, among others, have their own versions of the game, making the exact history unclear. However, many scholars speculate that the game originate during the Zionist migration period, which a wave of Jewish immigrants was fleeing to Palestine to avoid persecution beginning in 1882. At the time, space in the ships were limited, and a battle for seating was common place. This would explain why one variation of Musical Chairs is known as “Going Back To Jerusalem.”


As the name suggests, musical chairs requires chairs and a source of music. This could be electronic, or simply someone singing or banging out a catchy tune. As always, you’ll need a group of fun spirited individuals as well.

How To Play Musical Chairs

  1. First, count how many individuals are going to participate in the game.
  2. Then, gather as many chairs as your party’s size, minus one. For instance, if you’re playing with a group of ten people, then you’ll want to have nine chairs.
  3. Line up your chairs in a horizontal or circular fashion.
  4. Next, play any song of your choice. As the song plays, instruct players to walk around the chairs, encircling them in a “follow the leader” fashion.
  5. Whenever you feel like it, pause the music.
  6. While the music pauses, each player must scramble for a seat. The one left without a chair is out of the game.
  7. Before replaying the music, remove a chair. You always want to have one less chair than the amount of current players.
  8. Keep repeating this process until there is only one chair left standing, and thus won victorious winner!

Team Size

Musical chairs can be played with any number of people upwards of two. Although, ideally the party size is seven or above. Further, an individual must be in charge of controlling the audio, pausing it, playing it, etc. Alternatively, there are premade songs available online, such as Youtube, that already implement pauses in the track specifically for musical chair games. Either option will produce a fun activity for all.

Time Required

The time required for each round of musical chairs is all dependent on the party size. For an average game of seven or eight players, it shouldn’t last more than fifteen to twenty minutes. Of course, if the music is slow to pause and drones on for a longer period of time, the game will obviously take longer. Therefore, if you are in a rush to move on with this activity, we suggest pausing the music every few seconds rather than waiting a minute or two. Regardless, the game will always be a fun and enjoyable experience for all players.

Musical Chairs Video Tutorial