Teaching Beat on your Blocks
It can’t get any easier than one bump = one beat. However, a simple explanation and looking at something doesn’t mean a student understands it, and he certainly won’t know how important beat is unless he discovers all its possibilities. By feeling a beat and how one can move from one to the next at different speeds, and by directing what sounds happen on those beats give students true ownership of the concept. It's time to get your students exploring beat and manipulating it as a conductor, composer, soloist, and ensemble member, and the more you use Beat Blocks the more you’ll find they fit into just about any lesson you’re doing.
Kindergarteners conducting the beat
Improvise on a steady beat and add a block to practice "resting" on that beat. Students get the chance to tap the beat while leading their peers and also students improvising practice reading left to right.
Quarter note gets one beat
One bump = one beat. A quarter note takes up one bump but leaves the other three empty. What else could fill them?
When there are only 2 bumps, there are only 2 beats in the measure. What notes could fill them?
Now there are three beats in one measure. What could fill them?
Sometimes beats are not as simple as just one bump = one beat. They are compound, in this case of 6/8 time eighth notes get one beat, but they're grouped into three for a ONE-two-three feel. This is for more advanced students in upper elementary or older grades.
There are six eighth notes in a measure but the measure is grouped into two sets, ONE-two-three FOUR-five-six.