It’s never too early to integrate rhythmic reading activities into your curriculum, and it’s important to teach and reinforce musical concepts in a variety of ways. For rhythmic reading, try clapping, tapping, chanting, and playing classroom instruments. There are so many varieties of exercises that can help get your students started.
Ready to Read Music
Just like they need to know the alphabet in order to read text, students need to know the symbols of music before singing or playing. The beginning is a very good place to start! With Ready to Read Music, students will start with the basics of staffs and clefs, and then move into whole, half, quarter and eighth notes. Once they have a good start on notes, then move into whole, half, quarter, and eighth rests, and round out with barlines and measures. Try using large music symbol posters for bulletin boards and flash cards to reinforce concepts.
Encourage and enable your students to develop solid rhythmic reading skills. Introduce new concepts and combine together to challenge and motivate your students with Rhythm Workshop. Mix up time signatures with multiple rhythms in various musical styles and tempos to assist your students as they learn to clap, tap, play, or speak rhythms.
Incorporate speech “raps” as something different to support rhythmic reading. Try teaching raps that encompass a variety of subjects, making them ideal for interdisciplinary study. Your Math, Science, History, and English teachers will thank you. When your students learn it rhythmically, they’re learning it for life. With speech raps, as found in Schoolhouse Raps, your students will learn how to say “hello” in 16 languages, the planets of our solar system, facts about the U.S. Constitution, the musical families of the orchestra, geometric shapes, music facts and more.
Shakin’ It Up!
“If you can read it rhythmically, you will be stronger musically.” That is the premise of Shakin’ It Up!, which introduces students to 10 popular rhythm band instruments, including shakers, castanets, rhythm sticks, cymbals, triangle, woodblock, drum, maracas, sandpaper blocks, and tambourine, and the typical rhythms they play. Have some students sing, some play along—then trade!
Let’s Have a Musical Rhythm Band
If you’re looking for creative ways to strengthen rhythmic reading skills, try incorporating reading rhythms with the music of famous classical composers. In Let’s Have a Musical Rhythm Band you can have students play various percussion instruments along with the basic piano piece OR with the enhanced recorded accompaniment to achieve the dual goal of learning rhythms and the music of great composers. Students will love playing the parts for bells, triangle, tambourine, sticks, wood block, claves, castanets, drums, and cymbals.
Rhythm to the Rescue!
Try combining clever songs with rhythmic reading and stylistic concepts. Teach rhythms that go along with the different styles of music. For your young singers, Rhythm to the Rescue! includes 10 unison songs to develop 10 different rhythmic styles, from calypso to country hoedown, from blues to Broadway, and from rock and roll to swing. You can even combine these songs to create an entertaining 15-minute performance program. Add the rhythm band instrumental parts and get the whole school involved!