Teaching a New Rhythmic Element

New Rhythmic Element Lesson and Reflection 

In my Art of Teaching Children Music class we had to teach a lesson where we taught the class a new rhythmic element through a Kodály-based lesson experience. I chose to teach the rhythmic element of one eighth note with two sixteenth notes, or a “ti-ri-ti-ri”. Following the lesson we had to reflect upon the experience of teaching.

Here’s my lesson plan for the assignment:

New Rhythmic Element Lesson

Name: Adam Peterson

Date: 10-22-15

New Music Concept/Objectives:
-The students will be able to notate and read the rhythm of the song “Round and Round”.
-The students will be able to notate and read the rhythm of an eighth note barred to two sixteenth notes (ti-ti-ri).

“I Can…” Statements:
-I can sing the song “Round and Round”
-I can do movements and sing “Round and Round”
-I can pat a steady beat.
-I can tap the rhythm of “Round and Round” in my hand.
-I can write the rhythm of “Round and Round”.
-I can write and read a ti-ti-ri.

Materials Needed:
-song, “Round and Round”
-flash cards as manipulatives for the class to use throughout the lesson (provided by Dr. Stauffer)
-my rabbit finger puppet
-white board + markers + eraser

-have the students stand in a circle
-what word do I jump on?
-bom-ma-ka-le-li-chee-cheem-bom w/ movements à jump, pat, pat, snap, snap, clap, clap, jump
-have them shout out what word I jump on à “bom”; and how many times does that happen? à twice
-try jumping and saying the boms with me this time
-do it again with them joining on the boms
-now try doing all the movements and sing the boms with me still
-do you think you can sing the whole with me now?
-do it all together with motions and words
-nice job class, please echo me
sing: Round and round we must go (echoed)
-bom-ma-ka-le-li-chee-cheem-bom w/ movements (echoed)
-down says rabbit you must go (echoed)
-bom-ma-ka-le-li-chee-cheem-bom w/ movements (echoed)
-great class, that is our whole song, can we try singing the whole thing together?
-sing whole song together
-step out of the circle
-now try doing on it your own this time without me (this is a good spot for assessment, I could assess how different kids are doing with the movements, the singing, and the words)
-we’re going to the same thing but this time I am going to add something to it, if the rabbit lands on you on “Down says rabbit you must go” what do you think you’re supposed to do? à go down, you sit down
-they do it, I go around with the rabbit and tap on them and then I have one person sit down
-have the person stand up because not “for real” this time
-then once you’ve sat down you pat the beat to the song, let’s sing through the song without the movement and all pat the beat to the song together once just so we know where it is
-sing it and lead beat so they feel it
-okay now we’re going to play the game, when do you sit down? à when the rabbit lands on you on “Down says rabbit”; keep repeating the song until everyone is seated and patting the beat
-play the game until everyone is seated and patting the beat
-get everyone to turn facing the same direction!
-sing the song again while patting the beat while I pass out plates to everyone
-they sing, I pass plates out
-everyone should have 16 plates, please put them in four rows with four plates each (draw circles on the board to demonstrate)
-now sing the song and tap the beat in the plates like this (demonstrate for them using circles on the board)
-let’s try that togetherà sing song and tap beat in plates
-now put your rabbits up here (two fingers in palm of the other hand), let’s sing through the song and have our rabbits tap the rhythm of the song
-sing it with tapping the rhythm
-sing it through again while tapping the rhythm and I will pass out some notecards
-pass out rhythm note cards while they sing and tap rhythm
-figuring out rhythm of first line:
-let’s sing and tap the first line “Round and round, we must go”
-now hum it and tap it
-now while you hum and tap think about which ones are ta’s and which ones are ti-ti’s (rhythm syllables)
-now say the rhythm syllables while tapping à ti-ti ta ti-ti ta
-now find ti-ti’s and ta’s on your flashcards and put the cards in order in the first row of plates to make the rhythm of our first (ti-ti ta ti-ti ta)
-write it on the board in the plates when they have it so they can check it
-figuring out rhythm of third line:
-let’s sing and tap the third line “Down says rabbit you must go”
-now hum it and tap it
-now while you hum and tap think about which ones are ta’s and which ones are ti-ti’s (rhythm syllables)
-now say the rhythm syllables while tapping à ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ta
-now put the cards in order in the third row of plates to make the rhythm of our third line (ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ta)
-write it on the board when they have it so they can check it
-now for our “Bom ma ka le li chee cheem bom” (sing this and do the movements for them draw it in their memory)
-we need to figure out the rhythm for this part, but we’re going to start from “le li”
-let’s sing and tap “le li chee cheem bom”
-now hum it and tap it
-now while you hum and tap think about which ones are ta’s and which ones are ti-ti’s (rhythm syllables)
-now say the rhythm syllables while tapping à ti-ti ti-ti ta
-now put the cards in order to make the rhythm of this part, put this in your second line plates, and make sure to leave the first plate empty for “bom ma ka” (ti-ti ti-ti ta)
-write it on the board when they have it so they can check it
-so “bom ma ka” does something new, doesn’t it, it fits in one beat, or plate, but how many sounds are there? à let’s sing and tap it to figure it our
-sing and tap “bom ma ka”
-hold up un your fingers how many sounds there are à 3
-are all 3 sounds the same length or are some slower and some faster? Let’s hum and tap it and think about that
-hum and tap it
-call on someone for are some slower/fasterà yes
-which ones are longer/shorter à bom= slower and ma ke= faster
-right, so “ma ka” is faster, right, and it’s faster than any other sounds in the song, isn’t it, so it has to be faster than a ti-ti; turn to your neighbor and remind them of what we learned about last week that was faster than a ti-ti à 16th note/ ti-ri-ti-ri (write a ti-ri-ti-ri on the board)
-does anyone rememeber what another name for a ti-ri-ti-ri is? à four 16th notes
-we’re used to ti-ri-ti-ri’s being four sounds right? But “ma ka” is two sounds, so the “ma ka” is like half a ti-ri-ti-ri!, so just ti-ri, or 2 16th notes (erase half of the ti-ri-ti-ri leaving just ti-ri)
-say and tap that with meà do it
-But then what is bom? à half a ti-ti, we’re used to having two sounds in a ti-ti, but this is one, so just ti, or one eighth note (write ti-ti on board and then erase one so just ti)
-so then together “bom ma ka” is ti-ti-ri, or one eighth note and two 16th notes (put them together on board so they see what it looks like)
-demonstrate this with saying and patting it, let’s try that together
-say and tap ti-ti-ri
-let’s put that in our first plate of the second line (write it on board)
-and the fourth line was the same as the second, so fill the fourth row of plates to match the second row (write it on board)
-let’s go through the whole song saying and tapping the rhythm syllables à do it
-now hum and tapà do it
-hum and tap again this time I’ll sing the words to remind you of themà do it
-now sing and tap with me à do it (these last several steps are great opportunities for assessment as well because it would be very easy to step aside and assess them as they are doing this on their own)

-I will of course be assessing their understanding throughout the lesson and adapting my instruction as needed to help the students, but I have specifically marked two points in the lesson where I could formally assess the students’ abilities, participation, and understanding. I would be assessing if the students are understanding the concepts of beat and rhythm as well as notating and reading these rhythms.


Here is the video of me teaching this lesson:

Finally, here is my reflection of the experience:

New Rhythmic Element Lesson Reflection

I think I followed my plan pretty closely for this lesson. I felt pretty good about my plan, and I knew it really well, so I believe that this helped make it so that I actually followed my plan very closely for this lesson. That said, there were still parts that I did have to adjust for the class as the lesson unfolded. The first instance that comes to mind was that I had the class do the words for the part with the motions before having them do the motions. I had planned that I would have them join me on the movements first and then the words, but I noticed that the class was already starting to sing more of the words than just “bom” before I even asked them to, so I thought this would be successful to switch the two. I think that this was a good decision that was successful. Throughout the lesson there were several times when I observed how the class was doing catching on to different parts of learning the song, and if I noticed that they had some trouble with something I made sure to repeat it an extra time than I had planned to help them succeed. Also, when I was teaching the class the rest of the song and I had us sing together I saw that they were having some trouble catching on to all the different elements of the song, and I was going to repeat it, but the TA for my class, Jesse, asked me to demonstrate it for the class once with them just watching, and that worked very well. Another specific thing I added was a small thing, but something that I still felt was important. When we played the game and the first person sat down (Jenny) she seemed somewhat bummed out that she had to sit, so I expressed how important it was that we have people patting the steady beat after they sat. I had planned to have them sit and pat the beat, but I hadn’t planned to say that was a particularly important task. I think that putting this positive emphasis on it was helpful. The other specific thing that I adapted was another suggestion from my TA, Jesse. When we were figuring out the rhythm in the second line around the new rhythmic idea I was explaining to leave the first plate blank for the first beat, but part of the class was not quite grasping what I meant by that, so Jesse motioned to me to write it up on the board to help them out. I did this and it worked perfectly. It really helped them to have that visual element to compare their work to. I had been planning to not write the rhythm up on board until everyone had gotten it because I didn’t want them to simply copy it from the board, but what I learned was to wait until everyone had tried and not necessarily gotten it right, because that can help them in the process of figuring it out too.

The overall thing that may have been an issue was the length of the lesson. I didn’t realize how long it was until I saw on the video that it was almost 16 minutes long. I really felt like the material was actually all useful though, and I think that my pacing was good. I just think that in general this lesson took more time to teach by its nature. I guess this would actually be a pretty good length in an actual classroom. Many elementary general music classes are half an hour, and if I did this lesson with actual young children it would probably take longer than it did with my adult peers. That said, in an actual class like this I think I would break it up a bit between different classes. I think I would start with teaching the song in one class and then doing other instructional activities, and then on another day I would do the rhythmic writing exercises with them. Aside from these ideas there is not much I feel that I would change about how I taught this lesson. I felt pretty good about it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s