Dice Rhythm Activity

This is an activity that I was given to do with 2nd-5th grade classes when I subbed at an elementary school.

Dice Rhythm Activity

Teacher Directions

  1. Review the rhythms used on the rhythm sheet for that grade level.
  2. Explain Directions to students
  3. Divide students up into groups of 4.
  4. Hand out the cup with dice in it and the rhythm sheets
  5. Allow students the appropriate amount of time to practice/play the game.
  6. Redirect noise levels and student engagement as needed
  7. Collect activity, making sure that all 6 dice are in the cup.

Student Directions

You will have a rhythm sheet and a cup of dice.  On your first turn you will put one die (explain that 1 dice is called a die. They will not know that!) into a cup.  You will shake the cup (sort of like Yahtzee) and pour it out onto the floor.  The number that you get is the number that you will perform on the rhythm sheet.  Placing the die/dice on the actual number might be helpful (demonstrate) to remind you which number you should perform.  If you perform the rhythm correctly, while maintaining a steady beat, then you get another turn.  Your teammates are working as the judges, if the team agrees that you messed up, then it is the next person’s turn.  But if they agree that you did it correct, then you get to put 2 dice into the cup.  Now you will get 2 numbers and you will perform 2 rhythms, without stopping between the two lines (demonstrate).  Make sure to explain to the kids that if they roll two of the same number it is like a repeat sign, they perform it two times in a row without stopping.

Tell the kids that they are trying to do the best that they can do.  If the first time they onlyget one or two dice in the cup then that is okay.  But on their next turn they should try to get 3 or 4 dice.  Very few will get 6 dice (especially in the older grades).

The students use the following syllables for the notes:
Quarter note = ta; Eighth Notes = ti-ti; Sixteenth Notes = ti-ki-ti-ki; Half Note = ta-a; Dotted Half Note = ta-a-a; Whole Note = ta-a-a-a.

dice rhythms 2-3

dice rhythms 4-5

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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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