Tag Archives: Teaching Rhythm

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!


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

Rhythm Hearts

Rhythm Hearts Beats

Rhythm Heart Beats


More Rhythm Heart Beats

I am re-posting Rhythm Heart Beats and More Rhythm Hearts in case you would like to use them this week because  they look very “Valentine-ish.”

I first published them in August,and if you scroll back to then, or look in the Rhythm category on the right, you can read how I use them to teach rhythmic dictation. If you don’t have time to go back and read those posts, here is a quick review. The Kodaly Method teaches the difference in beat and rhythm by using a “heart beat” as an example of a steady beat. Rhythm is “the way the words go” and eighth notes are “two sounds on one beat.” When I used to teach in  a group setting I would use a felt board,  but now I teach individual lessons, so I made these worksheets. If anyone would like me to elaborate on how to teach rhythm to children, let me know and I’ll do a longer post on it.

Young children and beginners can use the first sheet,  with one measure, and older students will be able to take 2 measure dictation. Don’t let your students learn how to play the piano without knowing how to take rhythmic and melodic dictation. You never know what they may want to do with their music education in the future. Even if they haven’t learned to play 8th notes in their piano music, they are fully capable of learning the concept!


Filed under Rhythm, Valentine's Day, Worksheets