Lesson 2: Learning Meter
Children will be able to clap different meters. It is important to learn about meters because understanding a meter is one of the beginning steps to reading music.
Explain to your child what a meter is by telling your child that in most music there is a pulse, and some pulses are stronger than others. When you have a pattern of strong and weak pulses, you get a meter.There are 3 common meters (A Creative Approach to Music Fundamentals, Duckworth):
1. Duple meter (one strong pulse and one weak pulse, first line)
2. Triple meter (one strong pulse and 2 weak pulses, second line)
3. Quadruple meter (one strong pulse and 3 weak pulses, third line)
Copy the image above onto paper and show it to your child. Tell your child that there is an accent under some of the notes distinguishing the differences between the meter patterns. (An accent is a musical mark telling the person reading the music that the note should be stressed more than the other notes.) Now clap the 3 examples with your child. Every time you see an accent under the note, clap a little harder. After clapping the examples with your child, explain to your child that by doing this exercise, he or she can feel and hear the differences between the meters.
Can your child clap all three examples with the accents? If not, help him or her until they can.
Adapting to younger children:
Clap your child's hands for them to the 3 examples shown above (make sure you stress the accents.) By doing this your child will be able to feel the difference between the meters.