This has been a very challenging weekend for me and other teachers in my district as we experience decisions made by newly appointed members of our school board. I won't get political here. What I can do every day is work hard to teach children in my school the value, power and language of music.
Like the song says, "I've got rhythm, I've music, I've got my man, who could ask for anything more?" (Well, I could. But never mind. Just throw in a cup of strong coffee and I'll be good to go...)
So, rhythm. Let's make sure we've got that!
One of my first "a-ha!" moments that came when I started my Kodály training was the importance of teaching the difference and the relationship between beat and rhythm. (Yes, that was something that was never stressed in my music education!)
In my classroom when each new specific rhythm is taught I show heartbeats along with the rhythm so students can visualize how many sounds in a rhythm and where it falls on the beat. Often I show the rhythm right on top of the heartbeat.
In older grades, I transition to showing the rhythms underneath the beats.
Years ago I made student packs of rhythms on large foam hearts (and large "beat dots")
I use these with 1st graders as soon as we have a firm grasp of quarter notes and paired eighth notes. (On every heart or dot I drew a ta on one side and ti ti on the other.)
We use these for decoding song and chant rhythms, rhythmic dictation, and composing.
Inspired by all the great heart clip art that Teachers Pay Teachers members have been offering, I recently created rhythm cards showing one beat at a time. (Or two. The half note and eighth-quarter-eighth cards are 2 beats and twice as big as the one beat rhythms.)
The hearts are colorful and glittery, courtesy of Glitter Meets Glue Designs. (Some things bring out the girly girl in me; I can't help being a sucker for glitter!)
Each rhythm comes with and without note heads. Click on the picture below to download these rhythm cards.
So, please, take my heart(s)! If you do download, I'd love your feedback. (I still consider myself a newbie in regards to making things for Teachers Pay Teachers and it's helpful to know what other music teachers find useful.)
Also, check out the Kodály Corner blog. I recently contributed my first post about opening songs.
Have a great week and a sweet Valentine's Day!