My colleague Loretta and I have been teaching a pair of beginner students in a group setting each week. Last week, we were learning about 3/4 and 4/4 time, and quarter notes and half notes. Loretta and I wrote rhythms on the whiteboard, asked the students to help us write in bar lines, and then clapped and counted the rhythms together. While this activity worked and was beneficial, what we did this week was much more successful.
On Anne Crosby Gaudet’s website, we discovered her wonderful Music Discoveries Rhythm Blocks pdf. The pieces are easy to print and cut out. In class today, our two beginners were so excited to make their own rhythms and try clapping them. With Ann’s rhythm blocks, it’s easy to tell how many beats each note gets! Click here and scroll down to view Ann’s printable on her website.
Go figure – give students something hands-on and creative, and they will get more out of it! (Especially when the students are young beginners!)
What kinds of hands-on activities have you discovered for your students lately?