Blackberry Sherbet Dotted Quarter Notes


Blackberry Sherbet Rhythm

When I was growing up, summers for me always meant going blackberry picking. We would wear long sleeves and gloves to keep the thorns from hurting and we would bring along all our dogs to “chase the snakes away.” The dogs must have done their job because I never saw a snake, and we were always deep in the woods. The best part that made it all worth while was blackberry pie. I wish I knew where I could pick wild blackberries in Texas because they really do make better pies than the cultivated ones!

I tried to draw a blackberry pie image for this worksheet but it didn’t look very much like summer, so I decided a cool, delicious blackberry sherbet would be fun.

Blackberry Sherbet Rhythm is a worksheet to review dotted quarter notes in 4 meter.  It is a little different from the last one I posted where students only add bar lines. In order to be more age appropriate, this one also has students adding missing notes and time signatures.  It is a good review for theory exams.

The best way to teach dotted quarter notes is to show how the dotted note equals 3 eighth notes tied together. It always needs an 8th note (or anything that equals an 8th note) to be complete in 4 meter. If students are having trouble, I get out my handy Rhythm Pizza and show them or even the Rhythm in the Grid printable. (These two are pretty old, so if you can’t download them, email me.) Then they need a lot of practice tapping and saying it. I use the Kodaly syllables “tum-ti” but there are many more.

On an older post I have links to all the Summer Treats material I’ve posted so far in case you want to bundle them all up. Here is the link.

My students are using the color version on my iPad. If you want to save ink, print one and put it in a clear sheet protector and use a dry erase marker. Store all the worksheets in a binder. I also included a black and white version if you need to save ink.

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Filed under Rhythm, Theory, Worksheets

Candy Bar Lines

Candy Bar Lines

 Candy Bar Lines

Here is another worksheet with the  “Summer Treats” theme.  This is for a student who has learned eighth notes and needs some reinforcement in counting. I also made a black and white version that students can color, but this time it’s on the second page of the file. If you are not sure how to print one page from a multi page PDF document, check out my FAQ for a tutorial.

I also have in my files some more add the bar lines worksheets with dotted notes and sixteenth notes that I will add when I have time.

On my worksheet post last week I have links to all the Summer Treats material I’ve posted so far. Here is the link. I also have a  UK page.

I thought I’d give this a try on my iPad to show you how it looks.


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Filed under iPad Ideas, Rhythm, Texas State Theory Test, Worksheets

Piano Safari Review


Image Used by Permission

Image Used by Permission

Every now and then I come upon something for piano teachers that is so creative and intriguing that I can’t wait to try it with my students.

Piano Safari by Katherine Fisher and Julie Knerr (with additional music by Wendy Stevens) is this kind of method.

The authors maintain that most piano methods spend a lot of time teaching note reading and not enough time teaching how to make music “musical.” Often the over emphasis on learning notes can lead to mechanical playing and poor technique. On the other hand, learning to play only by rote makes it very difficult to learn how to sight read later on, in my opinion.

Piano Safari bridges the gap between learning by ear and learning to read music and helps reach children with different learning styles. Rote songs are used to help students understand music, develop their ear, and to have good technical skills. However, the book contains many reading pieces that students learn to read with an intervalic method. Beginning note names are learned using guide notes. By combining these ways of teaching, students get the best of both worlds. Students will enjoy learning the rote pieces, which are more challenging than the reading pieces. Rote pieces can put the “fun” into piano, letting students play pieces for family, friends, and personal enjoyment that would be too hard to read at their level.

The method book, Piano Safari Repertoire, contains a variety of music including:

  • Reading pieces
  • Rote pieces
  • Folk songs
  • Technical exercises
  • Improvisation pieces

There are also Sight Reading and Rhythm Cards to go along with the books at three levels. CD recordings for the Repertoire books are available.

For teachers who would like to supplement their current method book with some of the material from Piano Safari, there is the Technical Exercises and Rote Pieces Book which was written as a supplement to any method book. It contains rote pieces and technique exercises found in the method books. This book is a helpful way to dip your feet into rote teaching and try out some different ideas.

The authors have a website that contains a tremendous amount of resources for teachers. You really need to spend some time there because it is a most interesting site. In order to understand the method, teachers need to study the Instructional Videos on the website. In addition to the instructional videos, there are Reminder Videos of the rote pieces so that students can watch them online in case they need a review. This is so helpful for the student at home who forgets how to play the rote piece. To motivate students, there are videos of Performance Videos of children their own age performing the pieces in Piano Safari. Also on their website are printable Teacher’s Guides and piano teaching articles. It is just a treasure-trove of resources!

If you are a teacher who is looking for something really different and you are ready to challenge yourself, I suggest you take a look. This is not a turn the page kind of series, but a method for a teacher who is willing to take the time to learn how to use it.

Disclosure: This review was my idea and not solicited. The authors kindly sent me some material for review and I purchased additional material. Regardless, I only review music, books, and apps I believe will be of interest to my readers. The opinions are my own. 


Filed under Music Reviews

Summer Treats Funsheet for Beginners

Cherry Popsicles Funsheet

Cherry Popsicles Funsheet

Cherry Popsicles Black & White

Does anyone remember a few years back when I posted some music worksheets with a “Summer Treats” theme? Well, I’ve always planned on adding more to that series, so here is a new one.  This is for an average age beginner to learn some of the basics of piano. And I even made a black and white version that students can color.

I plan to add more to the Summer Treat set of worksheets, so check back. I found some in my files that I’ve never shared!

[Ed: Here are some I’ve made since this post.]

Blackberry Sherbet Dotted Quarter Notes

Candy Bar Lines (contains simple 8th notes)

The sheets I posted previously are for students who already know notes and rhythms. If you want to download them, I’m reposting them here for your convenience.


Summer Treats Note Story 



Orange Popsicles



Frozen Yogurt Rhythms



Snow Cone Signs and Symbols

For my UK friends. I also made some of these worksheets with UK terms and spelling. Here’s the link to my UK page. 

UK WorksheetsPP-2


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Filed under Music Printables, Music Vocabulary, Note Identification, Rhythm, Worksheets