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  • Abby Blair

Complementary Rhythms Lesson

"Perfect Square"

This is a book about a square that gets shredded, ripped, poked, and torn into different pieces, but it uses those pieces to create beautiful things. Second graders learned to write complementary rhythms and play ostinati using Beat Blocks. The blocks helped the kids keep track of the beat (8 beat phrase), the ostinato as the base (bottom layer), and the complementary rhythm a second rhythm that works with the first (without matching it). The rhythms they composed were then used in an electronic composition, manually input into Garageband and manipulated into different melodic riffs and timbres. Their rhythms were the basis for the story, and they varied for each new situation the square finds himself in. Students analyzed the text and found sounds that represent the mood of specific words. Once their compositions were completed, they were used with preschool and kindergarten classes reading the text for the first time. Everyone took turns reading the book aloud. Click HERE to take a listen to the finished product!

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