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!
Rhythm Review 1-3
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!
I recently made some handouts for the changes in the TMTA theory test. The first one here is for 3rd grade. The other two are some big changes in the 4th grade test. These basic theory concepts can be used for all music students, even if they don’t take a formal theory test. Click on the link below the image to print the tests. These can also be used on an iPad. Let me know if you find any mistakes!
Theory Stars New in the Texas Theory Test for Grade 4
Whole Step Half Step Stars
Summer Fun Music Vocabulary
Summer Fun Music VocabularyB&W
Well, at least I tried to make it fun! The one with the words in the center is an activity my students love for me to make. There are lots of words of summer activities mixed up with theory vocabulary, and students circle all the music words. If you have time, on the back they can group the words into categories, like dynamics or rhythm. You might want a music dictionary handy.
I made black and white as well as color versions. As a reminder, if you only use this with one student at a time, teachers often put it in a sheet protector to use with wet or dry erase markers. That makes it easy to store in a binder. Other teachers like the B&W versions because students like to color them and they cost much less to print.
I made these as a summer activity and since we have a few more weeks of summer, I hope you can use them! I also think you can use them as a back to lessons/school activity.
They are all free downloads and match the series of Summer Treats Activities that I’ve made so much material for over the years.
If you are looking for a game with vocabulary words, check out Music Memory Level 5B as well as all the levels here. Students really like memory matching games.