Just Added: The Rhythm Magnet Game

Here’s a fun movement/rhythm game to play with a group of students which I learned from a Dalcroze Eurhythmics instructor.  I call it the “Rhythm Magnet Game.”

The great thing about this game is that it helps students learn to associate the sound/experience of each rhythm value with it’s corresponding notation.  In Dalcroze and other methodologies (such as Orff), it’s important to experience the concept first and then put the notation and term to it.  This is the “sound before sight” principle.

The Rhythm Magnet Game

Background: This game is best intended for young children (preschool to beginner piano students).  Older students, however, may also find this game beneficial as an rhythm ear training experience and a lesson in keeping an internal pulse.  For this activity to be a success, students must have experience with the idea of quarter notes, half notes, dotted half notes, and/or whole notes (but not necessarily with the terms or written notation for each).  This game is perfect activity for teaching little ones to associate each rhythm value to its corresponding notation for the first time.

  1. Prepare by placing the quarter note poster, the half note poster, and the whole note poster at a different corners of the room.  Make a show of it (without much talking) so students watch to see where you are putting each note value.
  2. Instruct students: “Move towards what you hear.”
  3. Help the students establish the beat by patting their hands against their thighs.  Improvise simple ditties/chords on the piano.  Students must listen to identify whether you are playing quarter notes, half notes, etc. to the beat you’ve established with them.
  4. Once the students have moved to the correct corner of the room, change to another note value (with younger children, you may also call “Change!” to help alert them).  When/if students get confused or begin guessing, encourage them to “Find the beat!” so they can figure out the note value.  Continue this process until students get the hang of it.  If students run or get rowdy while moving towards each note value, instruct them to “step the beat” as they move around the room.
  5. Make the game more difficult by adding gradually adding the other note value posters, and by making changes more frequently.  Also, to add a twist mid-way through the activity, try mixing up the posters to new corners/areas of the room.

Students playing this game will soon discover that without checking with the pulse, they cannot determine which note value they are hearing.  This game is a great movement game to get students up and moving during a group lesson!  Have fun!!

To download the rhythm value posters you’ll need for this game, visit the the Printables > Games page and scroll down to the R’s for “Rhythm Magnet Game.”  Enjoy!

PG
Joy Morin is a piano teacher in Perrysburg, Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. ColorInMyPiano.com serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1119 posts here.

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This entry was posted in beginners / elementary Level, by student's level, ear training, games, games, group classes, intermediate level, movement, music camps, other resources, rhythm and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

3 Comments

  1. Posted 29 November 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi Joy,
    I just wanted to say thank you for the awesome materials you’ve shared on your site. I have made a purchase of some of your created items too, but the free stuff alone is incredibly valuable. I’m so looking forward to using it in my general music classes at my school. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Meg
    Posted 6 June 2016 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    This game has so many added themes and ideas. You are very generous
    in sharing this with us all,Joy.
    Thank you,sincerely,
    Meg

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