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Monday, September 19, 2016

Rhythm Cat - Air-bow Exercises

I have previously posted about how I use the Rhythm Cat app in my classroom.  That is one thing that I do every year with my students because it helps them learn to count rhythm in a fun way.  Thanks to AirServer, it is now easier than ever to use Rhythm Cat with my students by projecting the app on screen in front of the class and passing my one iPad to students in the classroom who are just beginning to read rhythms.  Other students follow along by clapping and saying the counting for each rhythm.

This year, I started using Rhythm Cat for bowing exercises.  It is important for string students to know how to count and clap rhythms, but ultimately students create rhythms using their bows.  For the last few days, I replaced my regular bow exercise routine to an air-bow routine done with rhythm cat.  Students say the counting while moving the bow up and down as if playing the rhythm.  We talk about how the entire class should have the same bow direction.  They are easily able to see why they need to focus and count if their bows start going the wrong way!  I noticed some students trying to follow the bow direction of the class without reading the counting.  We talked about driving and the need to keep eyes on the road in order to drive safely.  To read notes/rhythms, the eyes must stay on the 'road!'  That helped a lot of students focus on the notes and I believe they are now more prepared to play rhythms on their strings.