My elementary students have been enjoying the “rhythm of the week” challenge we started this semester. I’ve been hanging a 4-measure pattern using my Clothesline Rhythm cards before students arrive each day. At some point during their lessons, we take a break from the piano and work on counting and performing the rhythm (by clapping, jumping, stomping, etc.).
This week, I decided to create counting cards so that students could not only count the rhythms out loud, but visualize the written counts:
I have a number of students preparing for a festival later this spring that requires them to participate in both a performance and theory element. Each level of written theory exams asks students to write in counting under several lines of rhythm (either by note value or measure). I had always drilled this concept with written worksheets, but would happily trade in a worksheet for a hands-on activity any day! Since this can be a difficult skill for some kids to master, using the cards lets us continue to manipulate them until we have the right answer, rather than having to continually erase and re-write answers on a worksheet (hello frustration!!).
The counting cards are all equal to the size of the quarter note rhythm cards – so everything stays in proportion when you line up a measure:
This set allows you to create rhythms in 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 meter. Both the Clothesline Rhythm Cards and the new Counting Cards are available for download on my website.