Halloween Rhythm Dictation

I really like to use the words of familiar songs or catchy phrases to reinforce rhythm concepts.  Students naturally speak in rhythm, whether they’re aware of it or not, so it’s a great way to relate a “new” rhythm concept to something they already know.  Interestingly, I also find that choosing the right rhythm to go with lyrics is one of the hardest challenges for … Continue reading

Clothesline Rhythms – New Counting Cards

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 … Continue reading

Clothesline Rhythms

Clothesline Rhythm Cards

Break is over!  A new semester has begun!  One of my goals as I start each new semester is to return to a “balanced” curriculum.  I find that the END of a typical semester is full of performance-oriented teaching.   Lesson time is consumed with fine-tuning repertoire and preparing for recitals, concerts and recording projects.    For most students, the BEGINNING of a new semester does not bring with it those same … Continue reading

Christmas Rhythm Dictation Sheets

As I was working on planning rhythm and movement activities for group lessons this month, I had the idea to tweak my usual (rather ho-hum) rhythmic dictation sheets and add a holiday theme:    Both of these songs use half, quarter and pairs of eighth notes.   In We Wish You a Merry Christmas, students only choose between quarter and eighth notes.  In Up on the … Continue reading