Teaching Note Subdivisions
So now we know that there is a beat out there. Great! We can follow it and play it and dance to it. Even better. But above the beat lies the rhythm, and that is a much more complex concept to understand. Writing a whole note in a box isn’t much different than writing a quarter note in a box, and when composing, students are overwhelmed with all the different notes to use and what their relative durations are. But when you know that you can put four quarter notes inside one one whole note, then you begin to know that rhythms are just subdivisions of each other within beats. In addition, Beat Blocks allow you to direct students’ focus to just a few notations in particular, beginning with one-beat notes and groupings such as the quarter note, eighth notes, sixteenth notes.
Dotted Half Note
Three quarter notes fit in the same space as a dotted half note. The dot gives the half note (which we know is 2 beats) an extra beat (half of its original value).
Whole Note/Half Note
Two halves make a whole! Students can experience how two half notes actually fit onto a whole note.
A half note takes up HALF of the measure, in this case 2 beats.
Here are 4 different rhythms that all happen within one beat. They're color-coded so students can differentiate them easily. Note heads remind students how many sounds are heard on that one beat, be it "ti ti", "ta", "du", "du de", "Sh!", "ti-ki-ti-ki", etc.
A whole note takes up the WHOLE measure!