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I know that there have been many discussions on the old forum about David Newell’s book “Teaching Rhythm: New Strategies and Techniques for Success” and workbook “The Simple Rhythmatician” and I wanted to share what my wife and I did with her private studio this summer. We concentrated on those students in 4th – 12th grade and used his method to improve her students rhythmic abilities. Truthfully, I think this format would also work for people teaching summer lessons or marching band in the schools as well.
Our goal was that the participants could accurately and confidently play dotted quarter / eighth note rhythms by the end of the week. During the week we did rhythmic dictation, rhythmic composition, singing, playing and at the end of the week there was a dictation challenge. As the week progressed we found that the students really enjoyed David’s approach and especially the dictation parts. The dictation challenge was by far the most enlightening and rewarding part of the week. The students were given rhythmic cards and they had to challenge the other team to dictate the rhythm they sang correctly. We had a hard time getting them to stop playing and I can’t say I have ever seen students that excited and engaged in learning over the summer.
You should give it a try in both the private studio and classroom this works great!
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