Beat Box Rhythms

Today in General Music Methods (K-12 practicum) we did a really neat exercise for teaching rhythms. The teacher passed out a sheet of paper (we kept it upside down for the moment) on which were printed sixteen boxes in four rows of four. The teacher used a frame drum and kept a steady beat with a mallet and asked the class to “patsch on your laps while I play.” (“Patsch” is just some education guy’s word for patting on your lap…seriously.) She played a few different rhythms, demonstrating playing one “sound” on every beat, and two sounds on every beat. She then asked the class to do the same thing using their “beaters” (two fingers on each hand, tapping on each other) once with one sound in every beat and once with two sounds.

We turned over our “beat box rhythm” papers and were told to tap once in each box for one sound, following the rows from left to right and going down the page. We did this for two sounds as well. (I think you can see where this is going; quarter notes and eighth notes.) The teacher passed out little packages of M&Ms and played another rhythm, and this time we placed an M&M in a box for each sound we heard on that box’s beat. She alternated rhythms and mixed it up a bit, etc. Then we were allowed to create our own rhythms and play or say them for the class. It’s a cute lesson that might be fun for a younger class, maybe 1st graders. 🙂

About Lady Fair

Lady is a musician with a bachelor's degree in music education. She plays multiple instruments and has participated in numerous musical ensembles, giving her a wide variety of experiences and knowledge to use in her teaching career. Of her ensemble participation, she has fifteen years of band experience, nine years choral, and four years in orchestra. Éowyn's primary instrument is clarinet, with voice and piano being close secondary instruments. Throughout her musical education career she studied voice and clarinet simultaneously. In addition to clarinet, piano, and voice, she has also studied violin and oboe at the college level, and also plays recorder, tin whistle, and other instruments in the woodwind family. If you ask her, she will say, "I chose to major in music education because I have a desire to use my knowledge and experience in music to share its beauty and foster a love of music in the hearts of my students. I hope to encourage my students to try their hardest, feel like they have accomplished something, and give them a life long passion for music." Lady currently teaches private lessons on clarinet, sax, flute, oboe, piano, and voice, and recently gained a position teaching orchestra and chorus at a local middle school. She is also a member of the Once Upon a Dream woodwind ensembles.
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