Monday, August 4, 2008

Rhythm Lesson #1

Learn to Feel the Beat/Pulse

Importance of feeling a pulse:
Most music we hear has a steady beat, or pulse. Learning to feel the pulse is the first step your child will need to learn before he or she can begin to read rhythm.

Learning objective:
Children will be able to clap or tap their feet to the pulse.

Equipment Needed:
Examples of fast, medium, and slow paced music with a steady pulse.

1. Tell your children that most music they listen to has a steady beat, or pulse. The pulse can be fast, medium, or slow. There are many ways to feel the pulse. You can clap your hands, tap your foot, or even nod your head.

2. Turn on an example of the medium-paced music. Clap (or whatever your child prefers to do to feel the pulse) your hands to the music's pulse/beat, and explain to your child you are clapping your hands to the pulse. Let your child try to clap his or her hands to the pulse. Your child might need help, so you can help your child clap. This may take some practice, especially if your child has never clapped before.

3. Now do the same activity for the slow and fast songs, and have your child clap to the pulse.

4. For fun, you can have your child try to jump, tap his or her foot, or his or her head, march, or dance to the pulse.

5. You can also try doing this with a metronome.

Adapting to younger children (toddlers/babies)
Turn on a musical selection, and clap your child’s hands to the pulse/beat for them. Tell your child he or she is clapping to the pulse. Do this activity for the slow, medium, and fast paced music.
Now let your child try to clap to the pulse by themselves.
For fun, you can let your child hit 2 blocks together, or bang a stick on the ground to the pulse.

Can your child do this next time with out any instruction? If not, help your child until he or she can.
I am participating in Family Moment Monday. Check it out here!


Andria Sommers said...

Andrea you are awesome! sweet blog, so professional looking. nice ideas i am going to try do the egg shakers with reid. :)

A.D. McClish said...

Great ideas for teaching children about music! Only one question: what do you do if the parent has no rhythym? Just joking. :) Great post!

angie said...

THis is great. I'm totally going to do this with my kids.

Motherhood for Dummies said...

I will have to do this with Curtis... he needs it :)

Marie N. said...

My husband has done this with our children. It is hard when it is so natural for the younger one and the older one needs to concentrate so hard much of the enjoyment is squeezed out. Now, after a lot of practice, the older one has gotten quite adept and her piano playing shows great improvement.

MoziEsmé said...

I love how this works for even the littlest ones. My 16-mo-old has been "drumming" to music since very small and loves it.

Mae said...

Great post and thanks for sharing. I enjoy hearing what others have to share.

Mekhismom said...

This is a wonderful blog! My son loves music and I will be sure to check in with you for suggestions. Thank you for stopping by my blog and introducing me to yours!

Leah said...

thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog today! It's fun to see new faces!

Your blog looks fantastic, btw.

My kids all enjoy having music of some kind or another playing in the room. I love to watch them dance or bop their heads or tap their feet, or listen to them hum along. My eldest (age 6) is especially into music and is constantly making up little songs, and her favorite radio station is the classical station in our area (she was amazingly calmed by that music, even as a baby, and she's passionate about ballet, which is fitting!)

I look forward to seeing future posts here!

Marmarbug said...

I am loving your site and wanted to thank you for visiting me!

sassy stephanie said...

What a fun activity. My daughter has no rhythm. You should have seen her clapping along at the Hannah Montanna concert. Love the egg carton shakers too.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Melinda said...

That's one reason why I let my daughter watch the Disney cartoon, "Little Einsteins" they focus a LOT on beat, and at several different tempos too. And it's another reason why I'm excited that the preschool dance class I'm signing Sammi up for has tap also-to help more with beat and rhythm!

Michelle A. said...

I love your post Andrea! I was just teaching some children today and was using this same philosphy! You are awesome!

John said...

I'm a music teacher and I stumbled upon this looking for ideas for a lesson tomorrow. Please know that it is not beneficial to move a child's body parts to a beat, this does not improve rhythm, in fact it can stiffen then and make rhythm more difficult to understand.

The key to better rhythm is continuous fluid movement so that the child can better understand the placement of the beat in space.

If you are a parent or teaching early childhood music I highly recommend reading "A Music Learning Theory for Young Children and Newborns" by Edwin Gordon. It contains valuable information that is backed up by over 30 years of brain and classroom research.