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.

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