How To Read Music: Rhythm using Stick Notation

about the method andrew ingkavet blog blue jello children songs children's songs experiential learning free printable how to read music kinesthetic kodaly learning to read music lesson plan ideas michiko yurko modes of learning music education music games music lesson music mind games music notation music reading music teacher park slope music lessons reading music rhythm rhythm using stick notation rhythmic dictation stick notation teaching music teaching resources video Oct 26, 2010

When teaching to read traditional music notation, We highly recommend separating the elements.  Pitch can be taught separately from rhythm.   By teaching rhythm using stick notation, our students can focus on a single element without overwhelm.

1. Try Using Stick Notation

Stick notation is taking traditional notes and removing the note-head.

The note-head is the round dot at the bottom of the stick.  The dot is placed on the 5 lines of the staff and depending on where it is, tells us which pitch to play.  By removing the note-head, we focus only on the rhythm.

Stick Notation Diagram

2. Add Other Learning Modes

The use of hand movements, words and sounds enable us to get the music in our body, mind, eye and ear.  Multiple modes of experience!

3. Use Fun Words Like Fruit Names

By using fun fruit names like Lime, Mango, Pineapple and Huckleberry, we can learn to count rhythms with ease - and taste!  Delicious!

The finger signs add another mode of learning to accommodate more learning styles:  aural, visual, kinesthetic.  Next we'll have a party with limes and mangos to eat along with our rhythms!

 4. Watch A Video Of Students Using Fruit Names, Rhythm in Stick Notation and Hand Signs

Here's a video I made with the help of 5 year old students Ella and Govind.

Note, I adapted some of these ideas from the book Music Mind Games.

Are you a teacher looking for more ideas on teaching music to kids?

Watch our training video

5 simple shifts to. build thriving profitable music schools and studios

Want To Homeschool Your Child Piano?

Join the thousands of others who have done so using our curriculum.

Are you a music teacher working with young children?

Watch This Free Training