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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Pre-note-reading activity

I grew up in Michigan where there was a solid elementary music program in place.  I had a great music teacher who taught me how to read notes and basic rhythms.  This helped me a lot when I began studying the violin and it helped me teach myself how to play the piano.  I wish every elementary school was able to help children with develop skills in music fundamentals.  

My beginners come to me with many different backgrounds.  Some have had years of piano training, while others have hardly seen what a quarter note looks like.  Rhythm is something that came so naturally to me...I sometimes forget that some students find it very difficult to measure time.  These pre-rhythm-reading/rhythm code worksheets are great for introducing students to the world of rhythm and counting.  Instead of reading notes, students simply have to notice whether a box is shaded or not.  These basic rhythms can be used in a number of ways in the classroom.  Students can perform these as a group by clapping, plucking open strings, air-bowing, or bowing open strings.  I may even get out some of my unusual percussion instruments for these exercises.  A teacher should use a metronome or drum beat to help students feel a steady pulse as they perform.  The challenge is to make it through a line without messing up with the entire group staying together.  These worksheets may also be used for group or individual practice.  

So many possibilities with these pre-rhythm reading worksheets!  The class could divide into 2 teams and play 'rhythm tennis' to see who could make it through a line without messing up.  If a team performs correctly, the next rhythm is passed to the next team, and so forth (just like tennis).  Students can create their own rhythms at the bottom of the worksheet.  These creations can be used as additional material for 'rhythm tennis.'

After completing the basic rhythm reading and learning the concept of quarter notes, quarter rests, and half notes, students easily begin writing the note values.  

Download them for your beginners HERE!

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