Six-Eight - A Primer: An Introduction to Six-Eight for Young Bands

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Make compound time seem simple!

Solve the dilemma of teaching Six-Eight to young musicians

12 Exercises | 1 Page Front and Back | 1 Bonus Rhythm Drill Sheet

Six-Eight often leaves young musicians confused because we often skip crucial steps in explaining it. This primer connects a lot of the dots that typically get ignored. Starting with "Slow Six-Eight," the primer walks students conceptually through the things that make Six-Eight tick.

Take a look at the preview to see how these 12 inter-related exercises introduce common rhythm patterns in compound time in simple melodic contexts in the key of B-flat.

In addition to the Primer, we have also included a Rhythm Drill Sheet that will give you a resource for daily Six-Eight practice, including the introduction of more advanced rhythm and rest patterns.

The patterns included in this set are:

  • Six eighths
  • Quarter-Eighth (Long-Short)
  • Eighth-Quarter (Short-Long)
  • Dotted Quarters
  • Dotted Halves
  • Variations including rests and combinations
  • Sixteenth Notes (Drill Sheet only)
  • Dotted Eighth-Sixteenth-Eighth (Drill Sheet only)

Some of the concepts in this set correlate with our Hidden Logic of Time Signatures Poster Set. Those concepts have led to lots of A-HA! moments in our classrooms over the years, from middle school to high school. Check them out! Your students will literally thank you!

We hope that this set helps you answer student questions about how to play Six-Eight by answering YOUR questions about how to teach it!

Related Resources
Cut Time - A Primer: An Introduction to Cut Time for Young Musicians

Introduce 27 Core Rhythms with Rhythm Patterns in Isolation - Simple Meter

The Hidden Logic of Time Signatures - Posters for Your Music Classroom

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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