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Rhythmic Patterns

By Sarah Coraggio
Age Range: 5 to 11

Objective: Students will hear examples of syncopated rhythm. The teacher assigns three different groups their own rhythm patterns and different sounds. Student groups play them individually and together as a class. Then groups rotate for experience, and finally come up with their own rhythms.

Materials: Informational posters, Metronome

Visual Resources: Poster with review of basic music note values, Poster of various syncopated rhythms.


  • Teacher will review basic music note values with the class.
  • Teacher will assign the students to one of three groups.
  • Give each group a different pattern and/or sound as follows:
    • clap quarter notes, repeat
    • clap quarter note – two eighth notes – quarter note – two eighth notes, repeat
    • rub hands together for eight eighth notes, repeat
  • Lead each group in practice individually.
  • Set the metronome to a reasonable tempo. Explain how the metronome works, what the numbers/settings mean, and why it is used.
  • Have each group practice again, using the metronome.
  • Group performance time! Start the rhythm one group at a time.
  • After you think the class has accomplished that particular pattern, change the groups around so they get a chance to do every pattern.
  • Let students make up their own patterns and tempos to express excitement, solitude, and sadness.

Assessment: The lesson can be assessed by listening. Also the students can assess themselves and their group and others. Teacher can guide a class discussion about how the experience could be different or better.

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