Teacher’s Corner    by Nan Laurnzio

A few thoughts this week about rhythm…

Rhythm is one of the most important elements of music. You may be able to read the notes of the music, produce a sound on your instrument, play with dynamics and pitch precision, but if you don’t understand the rhythm of the music, you will not be able to play the music as the composer intended it, nor will you be able to play alongside other musicians in a group or orchestra setting.

Learning to “feel” rhythm can be fun and can be an activity that you can do together with your children.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

1. READ rhyming stories to your children and emphasize the rhyming words making sure to feel the pulse as you read.

2. LISTEN to the Suzuki CD every day! If you are traveling in the car, try humming along with your children to the piece, then turn down the volume for a few measures of the song and when you turn the volume back up you can see if you have kept up with the tempo of the music.

3. CREATE some rhythms by trying the free Noteflight demo.


4. Try some family BEATBOXING music-making (maybe a good holiday activity). Here are some links to some Beatboxing tutorials. Try the snare, high-hat, kick (bass) drum parts to start. The zipper is a fun sound to master too. Have your child write a variety of simple rhythms in 4/4 time on a piece of paper, then each family member can make the sound of a different drum or cymbal (see videos below) to the rhythms your child has created.


Kick Drum


High Hat


Snare Drum