Rhythm Blocks

Rhythm Blocks

Rhythm Blocks

Using these rhythm cut-outs is a great hands-on way to teach rhythm. If students are confused about rhythm values, it could be that verbal explanations didn’t work. How many times have we thought students understood a concept only to discover later that they were really confused but didn’t want to tell you? I remember when I was a young piano student just nodding my head in agreement when I really had no idea what my teacher was talking about. I started parroting back her definition of time signatures because I was a good at memorizing. But I didn’t understand what I was saying and I didn’t want to admit I didn’t get it. I liked her and I wanted to make her happy!

One of the first and most important rhythm concepts students have understand is that a note with a dot is equal to three of the of the next shorter note. That is the key to understanding dotted half notes and dotted quarters.  Theses rhythm shapes are great for that because they are proportional in size; so two eighths are the same size as one quarter.

Print this page on card stock and glue it to a sheet of thin craft foam before you cut them out. If you are crafty, even better is to glue the page to foam board (also called tag board), which will make them easier for students to move around but a lot hard to cut out!

I made this printable years ago, but today’s post is updated to make the notes easier to read. Plus, I fixed a note that was orientated wrong. So if you have the old file, you can replace it with this one.

Another way to explain fractions is to use my Rhythm Pizza printable. It is a very helpful first step to teaching rhythm values. Then to teach counting dotted notes, use this helpful visual, Rhythm in the Grid.

I know you can come up with many ideas for students to learn with these!

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Filed under Music Printables, Rhythm, Teaching Aids, Texas State Theory Test, Theory

Big One Staff Flash Cards

Big Flash Cards

Big One Staff Flash Cards

I’ve thought I’d take some time to let you know how the updating of my teaching resources is going here on Piano Teaching Resources. 

First of all, it’s a big undertaking to re-do and repost more than 10 years worth of printables, and I’ve been working on it for three years. I do it in my spare time and I feel like I have finally made some progress. I’ve finished the most of the holiday games and worksheets. I’ve finished all the other games and worksheets, and that took forever! I’ve posted so many big files.

The printables I’ve finished can be found by selecting “Free” at the top of the page and then following the links. Right now I’m working on “Teaching Aids” which includes certificates, flash cards, and anything that is not a worksheet, a game, or music. The last thing I do will be the music section.

Back when I first started posting, I was not able to rotate PDF’s to portrait orientation or to combine pages into one PDF. That is one of the things I fix when I go back and re-do material.

It’s been very helpful for me, in a way, to re-do my material. Some of it was made for a specific student, but then I forgot all about it. Going though and re-working material has helped me re-connect. In the beginning I made all the graphics in programs that were not very flexible. For, example, the flash cards I’m posting today were originally made in Word for Windows 95. That was when some of my readers were babies! I updated them in programs better suited for graphics.

I am posting these cards because they are useful for younger students. The lines are big enough for students to count, but not so big that they take up a lot of space. They have some features that make them easy for teachers to use:

  • Black and while
  • Big fat lines that are easy for students to count
  • Four cards to a page
  • Only two cutting lines so there are no margins to cut off
  • Big enough to play games

Thank you for your feedback and comments and I’m so happy that my material is helping piano students around the world!

 

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Filed under Music Printables, Note Identification, Teaching Aids

Valentine Activities

It’s not too late to play a Valentine music game or play some Valentine music.  All of the material in this post are listed here on my page of free Valentine activities.

If you have middle or high school group lessons or a Valentine’s Day party, try this really fun Valentine game, Steal A Heart. I remade it a few years ago so that it is ink friendly. My teens love this game. Ledger line notes are included, but you don’t have to use them.

Valentine Board Game

Valentine Card Rhythm Hunt is a fast game you can play with beginners who are learning rhythm. I’ve made this game for every holiday, so if you don’t get to play it now, check out the other versions.

Valentine Card Rhythm Hunt

There is a 4 page (folded) Valentine’s card with a note story and a sudoku rhythm game. This makes a nice card to give students the week of February 14.

If you want to see more Valentine music activities, check out my Valentine page! There are links to some Valentine music, too.

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Filed under Games, Group lesson ideas, Intermediate Students, Valentine's Day

Rhythm Review 1-6 Revised

Rhythm Review Levels 1-3

Rhythm Review 1-3

Rhythm Review Levels 4-6

Rhythm Review Levels 4-6

I’ve mentioned before that a lot of the theory worksheets I post are for the Texas MTA theory exams. These exams are in twelve levels, one for each grade. The early grades are not hard and they are a great way for teachers to discover if their students are really remembering all the theory we teach in lessons. If you are in an area that offers theory exams, consider them!

Last year, after several years of hard work, the TMTA theory tests were revised. In my studio, that means I need to revise all my theory worksheets. It is a daunting challenge, but I’ve been slowly trying.

Today’s post contains rhythm questions for grades one through six and up to about level 4 in most method books. In the top left corner of each page, I numbered the tests with the TMTA level to keep them straight, but teachers can certainly use these sheets to reinforce rhythm concepts at any grade. You all know I love silly cartoons, but I tried really hard to make these pages friendly looking, and not cartoony. They use less ink than the originals, and they can be used with any age.

See any mistakes? Let me know!
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Filed under Intermediate Students, Rhythm, Texas State Theory Test, Theory, Worksheets