Rhythm Learning Sequence
I introduce rhythm skills approximately in the order listed in this Rhythm Learning Sequence document.
The flashcards below should be printed out on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. You can then enlarge them (129%) onto 11″ x 17″ heavy weight paper using a photocopier. After cutting the paper in half, the new and bigger flashcards should be 5.5″ tall. You may want to trim off the extra paper on the right hand margin.
I also have all of these cards in a format where they can be printed directly onto 11″ x 17″ and thus use the full 17″ width of the page. Please contact me if you would like to purchase flashcards in this format. The cost is $0.20 per card ($0.40 per page, which includes two cards) plus shipping. For example, a file that is 10 pages long will contain 20 individual cards for a total cost of $4.00 ($0.40 x 10 pages) plus shipping.
Beat Unit = Quarter Note
Beat Unit = Half Note
Many people have difficulty understanding the concept of compound meter signatures. Instead of the numbers representing beat unit as they do in simple meter signatures, the numbers in compound meter signatures represent the beat division . To help illustrate this difference, I created flashcards which I call “Orff style” they are similar to the meter signature style Orff used in music such as Carmina Burana. The “Orff style” cards feature dual meter signatures. The meter signature on the left is the standard meter signature. The meter signature on the right is the “Orff style” meter signature. The “Orff style” meter signature indicates the number of beats on top and instead of a number below, it shows the note value that gets one beat. The “Orff style” cards are the same set of cards as the ones with the same name, but without the “Orff style” indication.
Beat Unit = Dotted Quarter Note
Beat Unit = Dotted Half Note
I highly recommend the TAKADIMI rhythm system. Learn more about it at takadimi.net
The pages of the files linked below print out to become 8.5″ x 11″ posters. I offer them here even though I don’t use these myself for reasons I explain below. Some teachers have found these posters useful for hanging in the back of the classroom (where students can’t see them!) so that teachers can use them as an aid to themselves while they’re still learning takadimi syllables. Keep in mind however, that while the takadimi rhythm system works for any beat unit, these cards are only correct for the beat units noted on the links below. With good sequential teaching and proper amounts of practice, I don’t think it is necessary (or desirable) for students to see these posters since they can become dependent on viewing the posters rather than actually learning the syllables and associated rhythm notation symbols.
Rhythm Composition/Dictation Flashcards
These cards can be used for students to compose rhythms. They can also be used for rhythm dictation (the teacher dictates a rhythm and the students show the rhythm using these cards). These cards should be printed on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. The notes should be cut so that the width of the paper is proportional to the length of time of the note. For example, when cutting the simple meter cards, the whole note should be 11″ wide. Half notes should be 5.5″ wide. Quarter notes should be 2.75″ wide, etc.