Rhythm and Music Note Introduction

Rhythm is a pattern of sound or movement. 
Rhythm can be found all around us. We use rhythm when we talk, sing, and dance. A rhythm can be a steady beat or it can be a pattern that has a lot of variety.
When we write rhythms in music, we use music notes. Music notes tell us how long we need to hold each sound. 

This symbol will stand for “pear”. Pear is a short word and will count as 1 beat and 1 note. 
(If you need a reminder about beats, review Lesson 1.)

This symbol will stand for “apple”. Apple is a word that has 2 parts (or syllables). Apple has 2 notes, but still counts as only 1 beat. 

All fruits will count as 1 beat. It takes the same amount of time to say apple as it does to say pear in our class. Each part of apple is said twice as fast as we say pear. 
apple      =    pear
1/2 + 1/2   =      1
Let’s clap the rhythms below. 
(You can also use your rhythm sticks or 2 wooden spoons.)
                                                 pear      pear      pear      apple
                                                pear      apple       pear        apple
                                                pear      pear         apple           pear
                                                   apple         apple       apple      pear
Let’s check out some other fruits!
Remember that all fruits counts as 1 beat and each word fits in the same amount of time as pear. Make sure that all of your notes are evenly spaced. 
                                  pear  =  apple  =  strawberry  =    watermelon
                                  1     =  {1/2 + 1/2} = {1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3} = {1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 +1/4}
straw – ber – ry
wa – ter – me – lon

We can make rhythms with other words, too. Try switching the fruit names into animal names.

Let’s use:

snake – monkey – elephant    –   alligator


My name is Stephanie. Stephanie is clapped the same as strawberry.


How would you clap your name?

What are some of your favorite things? How would you clap them? Think of several of your favorite things and clap them out. Remember that in this game, each word takes only 1 beat. That is the same amount of time as it takes to say pear.
* Note to the parent: In Music Adventures, I use a simplified version of notation at the beginning. This is because my classes usually consist of children from 4-9 years old. I have found that this technique makes it much easier for the children to grasp the concepts without overwhelming them in the beginning. In my experience, the transition into reading traditional musical notes is extremely simple since the
symbols I use are just simplified versions of the real thing.

If you are new to the Music Adventures Lessons, please click on the graphic below for an introduction and more information.



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