I use Mortinson Math blocks to illustrate rhythm when teaching beginners. “One” blocks are quarter notes in their normal position, but turned over (they are hollow inside) they become quarter rests. “Two” bars are half notes. And so on, any bar being a rest up-side-down. I use toothpicks (sharp ends cut off) for bar lines.
One of the best ideas I 've ever tried was "Music Travelling". It can work very well with preschoolers and primary school children and it promotes creative expression, self confidence, cooperation, geographical knowledge and respect of other cultures. It is also suitable for children with special needs. All you need is a CD with music
This works really well for JK to Grade 3, and is a life-saver for a substitute with no musical training. Many of the books also work well with Character Education. I have a number of story books that have a song on CD or cassette. The sub can simply play the CD/cassette and turn the
You can quickly come up with a series of words to do with a topic eg Dog breeds. Start the students off with some rhythm combination. Students match up the rhythms with he correct dog breed name. Students can then come up with other dog breeds and write down or match up the rhythms. They can
I begin by asking if anyone can think of a two-beat song. If not I suggest ‘Row, row, row your boat’ (Or age appropriate if they are older)then I get the group to clap down on their knees for the down beat and click for the upbeat. Ask if they notice the difference in dynamics.
This is a version of the “Celebrity Heads” game. Three students stand out the front of the class, wearing different labels on their heads (which can be pre-determined by the class), either musical terms, names of instruments, musical notes/symbols (depending on the current focus) or a combination of all. The students take turns in guessing
I tried something different with my beginners a while ago – ages 7 – 8yrs and they enjoyed it. I drew semibreves, minims, dotted minims, crothchets and crotchet rests on the board in random order. They had to walk forward a step and count 4 for the semibreve, 3 for dotted minim etc and no
I have a game called the Maze Game. After I construct a maze on my classroom floor from music textbooks, the object is for one student to go through the maze blindfolded. Here is the fun part. Movement directions for the student are given through various instrumental tone colors such as sticks for right; triangle
Find some small round tokens, about the size of a large coin. On each token draw or print a combination of notes…i.e. 3 quarter notes, a whole note, a dotted half plus a whole…any combination up to a value of 10. Create approximately 50 tokens, with values from 1 count to 10 counts. To play
Draw a simple analogue clock on the board, leaving space around it for 4 beat rhythm patterns. If you have magnetic 4 beat rhythm patterns prepared, stick one at each hour. If you don’t have any, simply draw a 4 beat pattern in stick notation using whatever notation the class knows. As soon as you