This fun and easily understood handout helps your beginner string students understand how their bow control and length is related to the duration of our beginner rhythms (whole note, half, quarters) and leads them to the next step: 8th notes! My students loved this lesson and it really helped them solidify their counting and understanding of how the bow and rhythms work together. They are always referring back to this sheet, as they keep it in their binders. This handout references school concerts, so please make sure you are in a school that puts on concerts! The line reads "In preparation for our concerts, we experienced how challenging it can be to put together a piece of music when all the different strings are playing notes that last for a different number of beats..." Therefore, this handout is best used directly after an ensemble's first, second or third concert and while transitioning into music with more 8th note rhythms.
This handout discusses how to visually identify our beginner rhythms, count our basic rhythms with words, for example, "1 and 2 and..." and also how to move our bow with each word accordingly. I have even included discussion questions and "check for learning" questions that come at the end of each rhythm section. Questions such as "how much bow do you use for an 8th note?" and "how many beats do we get if we divide a whole note in half?" are just examples of the questions on this sheet that reinforce student learning/understanding throughout the lesson.
This handout appeals to visual learners, showing the rhythms and having the counted words printed above each rhythm. Students are asked to clap, pizz and bow the rhythms. Students understand on what beat number we have to change bow directions when working with the rhythms at hand. I found this concept to be challenging for beginner string players (ie. keep the bow moving for the entire 2 beats of the half note), but this handout really helped clear that up. Especially when the handout discusses that for a whole note, you must keep your bow moving the entire time to cover the entire 4 beats.
This is a great document to accompany a detailed lesson for a Formal Observation as you can easily connect it to Common Core Math and ELA by using Tier 3 Vocabulary Words such as Beat, Arco, Pizzicato, 8th Notes and more. It also presents a good opportunity for student readers to read the handout aloud instead of the teacher!
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