LHOR in the School

Learning Modalities and Little Hands On Rhythm

The Little Hands On Rhythm primer kit a is visually stimulating learning surface, presenting the components in colour, large scale formats that is attractive to young students. The manipulatives colours are BLACK, BLUE and GREEN.    The different colour schemes help students differentiate between the pieces and provide a more stimulating visual graphics to work with. 


Tactile exploration prompts a greater understanding and retention of information.  There are 120 manipulatives(representing note and rest values, time signatures, basic beats, beat counters and bar lines) in the primer kit for students to use to explore and build rhythms.


Once students have constructed a rhythm, they can count the rhythm using the beat counters or using words (please see Using Words to Represent Note Values).  Student can use instruments and/or body percussion to tap out a rhythm.  Saying, hearing and clapping the rhythm is an important step in the students understanding of the components of rhythm notation. The student can think of this as writing a sentence and reading it allow. Instead of words we are using notes and rests.  The difference is that music notation is understood as a universal standard  (like anatomical terms in medicine).   

LHOR is a venue for students to explore and develop their creativity, problem solving, and cooperation skills. It also provides a format for students to learn rhythmic vocabulary.

This unique learning tool is reusable and is contained in a one piece box. The rhythmic pieces are placed conveniently and efficiently in a foam housing that it self is a learning tool.


Overview of Little Hands On Rhythm (LHOR) and the Ministry of Education Curriculum from JK - Junior Elementary.

Fundamental Concepts

The goals for students, as outlined in fundamental concepts, coincide with the capabilities of the learning tool. Below is a list of the criteria that LHOR would be able to assist with.

  • reading simple rhythmic notation
  • interpreting simple visual prompts
  • representing elements with manipulatives
  • playing a musical instrument - percussion
  • listening skills
  • creating and performing

Elements of Music

The learning tool can be used as means to convey the concepts of duration, dynamics, timbre, texture, and form. The following comments describe in detail the rhythmic components contained in the kit that pertain to the curriculum outline, and suggest ways in which the learning tool can be used.

(other components in the LHOR Basic Kit: basic beats, time signatures- 2/4,3/4,4/4, counting numbers- 1,2,3,4, and bar lines.)


Note Values - whole notes, quarter notes, barred eighth notes, half notes, dotted half notes, dotted quarter notes, single eighth notes.

Rest Values - quarter rest, half rest, whole rest.


The performance of rhythms can be used as a means to explore loud(f), soft(p), graduations in volume (crescendo, diminuendo) by implementing these concepts during performance of rhythms.


By using diverse percussion instruments to play their rhythms students hear the different tone qualities of instruments and are  able to identify instruments accordingly. (drums, claves, shakers, bells, tambourines, triangles, etc).


The rhythm board can be used to notate a rhythm that acts as an accompaniment to, or a notated representation of a single melodic line. It can be used to demonstrate the textural component of simple two-part rounds, and canons. The teacher can assign different simple rhythms to different groups. The students can see how texture is achieved as each groups' rhythm is added (layered). This exercise would heighten students listening and concentration skills.


The rhythm board can be used to demonstrate call and response, binary form, simple verse and chorus, ternary form, repeats, and more complex forms consisting of four or more sections. This can be done by creating different sections within the class and conducting the class according to the form. This exercise would enhance the students listening, cooperation, and concentration skills.

Other Uses of LHOR

LHOR shares integrated learning concepts with literacy and mathematics. Using numbers and counting the student's understanding of basic math functions (addition, subtraction, division and multiplication) is reinforced.- The LHOR can be used to explore the rhythmic characteristics of language through the use of poetry, rhyming words, and /or chants spoken or sung over notated rhythms. LHOR can also be used to construct rhythms for bucket drumming and as a music centre for students who need access to physical components for learning.