Thursday, October 15, 2015

Monster Rhythms

My students LOVE to play instruments! (Duh!) It's easy to get them to practice reading and playing rhythms - especially with fun and festive slides like these monster rhythms. I projected this brand new set in my second grade class and, and students ate them up.

My instruments are set up in three rows, and students zig, zag, zig through the rows. In other words, they move to the right on row 1, left on row 2, and right on row 3, followed by one quick zoom from the last instrument back to the beginning of row 1. Rows can include barred instruments in a pentaton, unhitched percussion, or a combination of both.

Since it is fairly early in the year and I only see them once a week, we used my introductory method of playing the slides.
  1. Say It: I count down: "8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, play it now." Students say it without playing
  2. Say and Play It: Students speak and play the rhythm (Play should continue without missing a beat. I sometimes speak in rhythm and give directions while they are playing to keep them on track.
  3. Just Play It: Students should think the rhythmic syllables while they play.
  4. Rotate: Students move to the next instrument while I click to the next slide and begin the countdown again. They know they only have 8 beats to get ready, so they move quickly and with purpose.

When students are proficient, they say and play each slide twice without stopping before rotating to the next instrument. When this works well, they are ready for their favorite rhythmic game: Poisoned Rhythms. I created this Monster version to go along with our new practice slides.

Students will strive to outwit the monsters by avoiding playing the poisoned rhythm. The "punishment" isn't too bad: they simply move to the next level of instruments. Complete instructions for the game are included in the product file.

The practice slides and the poisoned rhythm game are available at my TpT store. The bundle includes everything you need for a monstrous good time, plus it includes a discount:

I hope these ideas inspire you to make your music class rock!


  1. Nice game! It is so interesting when playing this with my children. Thanks.

  2. Monster Rhythms are the best for the development of kids in music. These type of rhythms will help to learn more about the core of the music.

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