When teaching to read traditional music notation, I separate the 2 parts of pitch and rhythm. Rhythm is easy to teach using stick notation.
Stick notation is taking traditional notes and removing the note-head. The note-head is the round dot at the bottom of the stick. The dot is placed on the 5 lines of the staff and depending on where it is, tells us which pitch to play. By removing the note-head, we focus only on the rhythm.
The use of hand movements, words and sounds enable us to get the music in our body, mind, eye and ear. Multiple modes of experience!
I adapted these ideas from Michiko Yurko.
By using fun fruit names like Lime, Mango, Pineapple and Huckleberry, we can learn to count rhythms with ease – and taste! Delicious!
The finger signs add another mode of learning to accommodate more learning styles: aural, visual, kinesthetic. Next we’ll have a party with limes and mangos to eat along with our rhythms!
Here’s a video I made with the help of 5 year old students Ella and Govind.
Author: Andrew Ingkavet
Andrew Ingkavet is an educator, author and entrepreneur.
His belief that learning a musical instrument builds skills vital to success in life has led to a thriving music school in Brooklyn, NY. Internationally, Andrew helps music teachers with the Musicolor Method, an online curriculum/training as well as a 5 star-rated book,The Game of Practice: with 53 Tips to Make Practice Fun. He is also founder of 300 Monks, a music licensing company.