by Tamsyn

October 5, 2011

Perhaps I have been watching a little too much Sesame Street with my children…

In this video, we play a rhythm “guessing game”, where a rhythm is spoken, and the student “guesses” where a certain rhythmic element is.  It’s a listening exercise.  Watch this video with your student or child…

There are many applications for this kind of game.  As shown, it is best for the younger beginning student.  An older child, even if a beginner, may tire of it quickly.  Here are some extension activities to keep them engaged:

  • Notate the whole measure with rhythm sticks or note cards.
  • Mix and match different rhythmic elements, as in the last example, to make the game more challenging.
  • Don’t tell them what rhythmic elements you are going to use.  Make them guess!
  • Have the child create a measure for you to guess.  (A memory game in and of itself.  Kids often do better than adults!)
  • Rather than clap the rhythm, play it on a percussion instrument.
  • Do longer sequences.

If you are interested in the templates used in the video, they are part of the Beginning Rhythm package, but you can easily make your own rhythm cards by hand on index cards.  You can also use Popsicle sticks or coffee straws for stick notation.  Just do it, and have fun!

About the author 


My name is Tamsyn and I love music. I got my bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from USU. I spent many years teaching private piano lessons until I had children of my own. I have attended several children workshops on how to teach children music. I really like the Kodaly method, but have adapted a lot of different techniques for my own children.

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