Rhythm Activity Games

                Little Hands On Rhythm® - Activity Games 


Note:  Place the Basic Beat on the Rhythm Board as a reference to show the beat value of notes and rests in the rhythm in terms of the number of quarter notes they are equal to.  Ex - the half note has two quarter notes above in the basic beat.  The sound carries through the next beat.  The dotted half note has three quarter notes above in the basic beat.  The sound carries across the following two beats. This is a visual means to distinguish between note value and the beat number. The Basic Beat also prompts the correct spacing between the note and rest values in the rhythm.  Remember to always use your beat counters. 

 Which Bar Did You Hear?   This is a fun listening game for students. To play the game, prepare the rhythm board by placing a Time Signature and the corresponding Basic Beats on the board.  Makeup four bars of rhythm on the rhythm board. Clap one of the four bars.  The student claps back the rhythm and identifies which bar the rhythm appears on the rhythm board.  The rhythm can be easily changed by rearranging the manipulatives.   

Make it Appear – Taking a rhythm out of the air and placing it on the rhythm board can be a magical moment for students and a good introduction to rhythm dictation.  The advantage of using the manipulatives is that students can see now see the notes and rests and choose the correct manipulatives to notate the rhythm they hear.  To play the game, prepare the rhythm board by placing a Time Signature and the corresponding Basic Beat on the board.  Clap and count one bar of rhythm. The student Claps and Counts the rhythm back, then notates the rhythm on the rhythm board using the magnetic pieces. This is an excellent assessment exercise also. Teachers can challenge the students’ rhythm memory by gradually increasing the number of bars of rhythm to be notated at one time and increasing the level of difficulty by incorporating the extension pieces.  
*Suggestion – To set an even tempo, the teacher can tap out the Basic Beat while the student repeats the rhythm.  The tempo should be slow enough to allow the student to interpret how the rhythm aligns with the basic beat.  

Help! – This is a fun game that involves solving rhythm notation problems. Present rhythm notation mistakes over four bars of rhythm.  Discrepancies such as an insufficient number of beats per bar or too many beats per the bar, an incorrect time signature, the misplacement of bar lines and counting numbers, the incorrect placement of the whole rest, the use of the half rest instead of the whole rest in 2/4 time, can be placed on the board for students to find and correct. This exercise requires students to study the rhythm board thoroughly to find all the rhythm notation problems.  

Build A Bar –   In this game, a card number is interpreted as a note or rest value or a combination of notes and rests to make up bars of rhythm.   Using the Random Rhythm Card Set, prepare the cards by selecting all the numbered cards and four wild cards (Instruments Cards) from the deck.  Shuffle the cards. Set up the board with a time signature and corresponding basic beat.  Choose the top card from the deck and place on the rhythm board a note(s) or rest value(s), that match the value of the card. The beat counters, that represent the beats, are added below the rhythm. The players take turns until a bar is complete. Once a bar is complete, a bar line is placed after the last beat in the bar and the player claps the rhythm.  Remember the double bar line(black) is placed at the end of the fourth bar. The game continues until all four bars are complete. Bars of rhythm can be built consecutively or randomly. To play the game by randomly completing bars of rhythm, add the bar lines before starting the game. To make the game competitive, each player can be awarded one point by completing a bar of rhythm and clapping it correctly.  The game can continue until a set point is reached.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
It All Fits! -  This game provides students with just enough beats to fill four bars of rhythm. Set up the Rhythm Board with a Time Signature and the Basic Beats. Present only note and rest values that add up to four bars of rhythm. (Ex. In 4/4 time there is a total of 16 beats for four bars of rhythm). The purpose of the game is to correctly place all the pieces on the rhythm board then clap and count the rhythm.  As a variation, turn the pieces over and have the student fit the piece selected on the rhythm board. 

Match the Beat Number- This game helps teach and apply the beat number of the notes and rests by identifying the beat number of the notes and rests and using them to build bars of rhythm on the rhythm board.  To start the game, prepare the card set by removing the wild cards from the deck.  Shuffle the numbered cards and divide the deck in half.  Place one-half of the numbered cards back in the card box.   Place notes and rests under the rhythm board. leaving space between each manipulative.  Take the top card from the deck and place it under the note or rest that matches the beat number on the card.  Have the student say the name of the note and the number of quarter notes on the card.  Continue until no cards remain. Set up the Rhythm board with a time signature and a basic beat.  Use the notes and rests under the rhythm board and similar notes and rests from the box to construct four bars of rhythm, adding the beat counters and bar lines after the completion of each bar. Check that the quarter notes in the basic beat above match the beat number of the note or rest. 
Clap the count the rhythm( As a precursor to clapping and counting the rhythm, the teacher can play the game 'Which Bar Did You Hear' )  After clapping and counting the rhythm, the student can re-arrange the pieces to create a new rhythm.
                                                                                            
Suggestions:
When introducing new notes and rest values, arrange the pieces in numerical order. 
Set up the rhythm board with a Time Signature that reflects the highest beat number of the notes and rests presented  
Use only the numbered cards from the deck that represent the beat number of the notes and rests used for the game.                       

          

                                       If you wish to share other game ideas please send them to                                                                                              info@teachingaidsformusic.com.  We would be happy to post them on

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