Rhythm is the first thing I work with in my students’ early lessons. We improvise (play spontaneously) based on fast and slow rhythms. I teach them the basic musical note shapes for 1 (one) beat and 2 (two) beats.
One Beat To clap and count,
For young children, movement words are excellent to cue rhythm through speech. I teach my students to move in a walk and say “walk” with each step, while pointing to a quarter note (see above). Or I teach them to clap and with each clap, say “walk.”
Two Beats. To clap and count,
For two-beat notes, I teach a child to step and stay to the chanted word “stand-ing”. To clap a half note, we clap on the first beat and squeeze hands together on the second beat.
Music is rhythm. Language is rhythm. Play is rhythm. When we improve rhythm, we make other areas of life easier and more enjoyable.