Hand Drums for Reading Rhythm
Cheri S., Utah
Here’s another getting ready for Reading Rhythm question: Has anyone used hand drums, rhythm sticks, etc. in shared lessons when working on RR? Do you find them helpful and fun, or distracting? Where do you find a good value on quality rhythm instruments? What else should I consider regarding rhythm instruments in Simply Music lessons?
Marty S., Kansas
I have actually never used rhythm instruments in Reading Rhythms other than the piano itself. The idea is to get the rhythm into their hands/fingers and on to the keyboard. The very first day we tap our feet and pat our hands on our laps to get singles, doubles and quads down. But after that, we speak the rhythms, play the rhythms, and write the rhythms.
On the Masters of the Rhythm page 4, for example:
Week 1: My students are to speak the rhythms at home with the CD
Week 2: I have the students play the rhythms page 4 using fingers 1,3,5 Ex: in the RH play finger 1 for singles, play fingers 1 and 5 for doubles, play 1,3,5,3 for quads. Students are to do this with RH, LH, BH
Week 3: I have the students play the rhythms page 4 using the 5 steps of sound, up and down, changing fingers with each note – RH, LH, BH
Week 4: Students copy the whole page 4 (see page 10 in RR on how to do this)
Week 5: I dictate rhythms from page 4, one measure at a time, and students write them on dry erase lap boards as I say them. Students cannot look at the book – they must listen and write. Then we play the “competition” game, where each student, looking at page 4, tries to speak the whole page 4 rhythms, at a pretty fast tempo and we see who can get the farthest before making a mistake. The students love this part!
If I think there is mastery of page 4 rhythms at this point, we move on to page 5 and begin the whole process again (week 1, week 2, etc. as stated above)
So, in the end, I spend 5 weeks on one page before moving on. By the time they do all this, they know the rhythms on this page very well. They can speak the rhythms, play the rhythms, and write the rhythms.
Perhaps other teachers use other rhythm instruments, but after doing all the above, I don’t find other rhythm instruments necessary.
Ruth M., Washington
I have purchased just about every hand drum on the market. I would go with Lynn Kleiners Drums byREMO
They last forever, others do not. All her instruments are top quality. You can get them for a little cheaper but it will not save you money. You will save money by purchasing instruments that last.
I use them in my studio.
Devin L., California
I use Mindysmusikids.com. I’ve bought all sorts of quality percussion instruments. She will only allow teachers to buy.
Original discussion started July 20, 2012