A Simple and Fun Rhythm Activity for the Piano Lesson

Since one of my main objectives this year is to help my students master rhythm skills, we are finding a variety of ways at each lesson to help students decipher, play, and notate rhythms accurately. Here’s a fun multi-sensory rhythm activity we tried this week that was very effective!
This is adapted from Have a Heart – Feel the Pulse, but instead of using a page of hearts I drew four hearts across the top of a dry erase board and then wrote the 4/4 time signature on the row below the hearts. I played a simple 4-beat pattern of quarter and eighth notes and had the student place small magnets inside each heart to show whether each beat contained one or two sounds/notes.

After placing the magnets, the student translated them into notes, drawing quarter notes where there was only one sound and a pair of eighth notes where there were two sounds. This was a huge help in reinforcing the importance of identifying and maintaining a steady pulse while playing various rhythm patterns!

Share and enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “A Simple and Fun Rhythm Activity for the Piano Lesson

  1. This is a fantastic idea. I’ve been stumped with a new student and I believe this may be the thing that works. I am always looking for new technics to teach rhythm. Because I was “born with it” it has always been more of a challenge to teach to those who aren’t born with it. Older students do the math of rhythm well but the younger ones don’t have that experience yet so the illustration is not as effective with them. I’m excited to get started!

  2. Thank you so much! I have a new student that is struggling with keeping a steady beat….this is helpful! 🙂

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