Old Skool Rhythm Teachin’

I love 5th grade! Have I mentioned that lately? This year’s Orff Ensemble (fall music class for non-band students) is going so well and I’m tremendously pleased with both their progress and their teamwork.

Today as we practiced the “Steps to Learning Music”, we encountered a “new rhythm” while we were on Step 1: read the rhythms. This dotted eighth-sixteenth pattern looked vaguely like two eighths but was clearly askew. We know 8th and we know 16th and heck, we even know “dot”, but altogether?

I went “old skool” on them with a scrappy quickly drawn pie. We determined that eighth was worth 1/2 and the 16th worth 1/4 of the pie and voila!, we had a dot worth 1/4 as well. Pie complete. Children understood.

For all my preaching about technology, sometimes a good old fashioned marker, a circle, and a few fractions does the job just as well. Awesome day.

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