Rhythm Exercises

Teaching students how to read musical notation includes learning how to read and perform various rhythms.  Much can be gained by having students work on recognizing rhythmic patterns and basic subdivisions as when students have a good understanding and feel for various rhythmic elements they not only become better music sight-readers, they also improve their overall technique.  Typically when students experience difficulty with technical issues in learning their music it is usually because of rhythmic inaccuracy. 

These exercises are designed to include a variety of basic time signatures and rhythmic subdivisions of increasing difficulty.  A few minutes of working on reading and performing these exercises every class, with or without instruments (clapping, humming, sizzling, singing, etc), will pay dividends.  Work on them at a variety of tempos with a metronome. As you work on reading these rhythms, encourage your students to recognise where the rhythms land within the various time signatures.  It is more important and effective that students understand where the different rhythmic patterns land within a time signature as opposed to how long the notes are in duration. 

Having students demonstrate basic rhythmic subdivisions at various tempos prior to reading these exercises is also of tremendous value to their skill development.


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