Oct 19 2005, 09:49 PM
Help! Has anyone got any golden nuggets of wisdom in terms of teaching rhythm?
I have a mature student who has been studying with me for about three years but really seems to struggle with fairly basic rhythms(dotted crotchets etc).
He learns pieces by apparently memorising the rhythm as we go through the music
but, if the same rhythms occur in a different piece of music, he experiences the same problems again.
In any particular week we could really hammer rhythm exercises and, by the end of the lesson, he would seem to have mastered them but, the following week it would all be forgotten.
He can copy rhythms as an echo but can't translate the written notes into their correct rhythm. I have broken the bars up into equal value notes(eg quavers) and
shown where the beats fall and have used the 1&2&etc method. we have tried a variety of exercises using our hands and feet eg maintaining a beat with one hand while tapping the rhythm with the other but I can't seem to be able to get him to build an internal metronome.
I feel I am missing something or are there some people who just don't have a sense of rhythm. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Oct 20 2005, 05:39 AM
When you are doing the 1 & 2 & idea, do you count, does he count or do you both count? I only got my internal metronome going about 10 years ago when I realised that it was me
who needed to count when I
Most of my pupils find it hard to count and play at first, most persist and feel the benefit. I count with them for a few weeks and try to leave it to them, only counting with a more difficult passage.
I think counting out loud yourself is like the muscle memory of your fingers when you're playing. Your brain will get used to it and take it to the don't need to think about it level.
Good luck anyway!
Oct 20 2005, 06:41 AM
Try the Paul Harris graded sight reading series of booksight books. They start with rythm exercises followed by simple 2-3 bar examples of the rythms
Oct 20 2005, 07:20 AM
I had this problem with a very slow adult learner,
eventually managed to crack it by getting him to count each note as an individual multiple of quavers:
quaver = 1
crotchet = 2
dotted crotchet = 3
minim = 4 etc etc
so when he counts out loud, for example, two crotchets, a dotted crotchet and a quaver, he counts
1...2, 1...2, 1...2...3.., 1
worked like a charm.
I still have to write all his rhtyhm in for him but after six months of working this way he now has a good sense of rhythm!
Oct 20 2005, 09:18 AM
If his problem is doing two things at once (counting and playing) he could get some general practice at that by working through a few of the early exercises in Hindemith's book "Elementary training for musiciians". The title is very misleading; many a professional player would have difficulty with the exercises at the end of the book, so perhaps you should buy it rather than him. The first six exercises deal with rhythm only and that remains the main subject for a large proportion of the earlier chapters.
Oct 20 2005, 10:44 AM
ok i used these rhythm cards with my preschool children to learn the basic rhythms but the older children I teach use these to remind themselves which way so rhythms go in their sight reading.
4 semi cat-er-pil-lar
2 semi+quaver la-dy-bird
quaver +2 semi grass-hop-per
2 quavers spi-der
Once they have mastered the cards you can turn them over for the notation that matches. All the children I teach can do all the animals in any order and by 4 we are using the notation instead of the animals.
PM for more details on where to get hold of these cards, they come in packs of 70, 10 of each animal.
The dotted rhythms I usually use Walk Walk Walk Walk for Crotchet
Run and Run and Run and Run and etc for quavers
Stomp Stomp for minums
and Skip pa for dotted crotchet quaver
These maybe no use to you but this is how I teach my under 5's and all the way up to Year 4.
Forgot to say that once they have the general rhythm in their head I start count the beats and using 1&2&3&4& etc.
I also use improve your sightreading as well, very good book.
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