The Rhythm Challenge Cards were designed with the following goals in mind:
🥁 Help students differentiate between beat and rhythm.
🎶 Support students’ understanding of music structure.
🕺 Support dance musicality.
That said, here’s what I’ve come up with:
Let’s dive into how these work.
Each tile represents one beat (count) within two bars of music (8-count).
On each tile, students will have a clear visual of the movement to be performed within that beat, the note value for that beat, and the count number.
The example above is the simplest version of these sheets: one movement per beat for eight counts, with each beat having a quarter note value.
But what do we do for beats that have a slower note value (e.g. half note, dotted half notes, or whole notes)? That’s what the markers between each tile are for.
First off, notice how the notes on each tile’s staff have changed to represent the updated note values. The time signature has remained the same (4/4: four beats per bar with each beat being set as a quarter note), but the number of notes per bar has changed.
Also, for movements that count for two beats (half note values), the minim symbol (representing two counts) between the two beat tiles is highlighted and the second tile’s movement space is left blank (to represent the movement has been carried over).
Ok, but what about faster note values, like eighth or sixteenth counts?
Again, the notation has been updated. As for the movements, additional movements have been added to the beat tile (similar to the bees in the video lesson I shared earlier).
For beat tiles with multiple actions, I also added a visual ampersand (the “&” symbol) to help students remember to count that beat as “1 AND” and not “1, 2” (so the entire bar reads “1 AND 2, 3 AND 4”).
The download includes a printable set of 20 Rhythm Challenge Cards along with my Rhythm & Dance Learning Roadmap.
To learn more about how I designed these cards to help my students develop their dance musicality, check out my full blog post on the topic.
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