Notating Four-Beat Rhythm Patterns

Notating Four-Beat Rhythm Patterns

Steve Sinni
[email protected]/
Montgomery Knolls Elementary School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:





General Music


One computer with TV monitor
FINALE or FINALE NOTEPAD notation software


20 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students can decode four-beat rhythmic patterns of “ta” and “ta-ti” (1/4 notes and 1/8 notes)

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2104: Creating 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.

NAfME 2014: Responding


One computer with TV monitor
FINALE or FINALE NOTEPAD notation software
hand drum (teacher)


Students will decode four-beat rhythmic patterns aurally/orally
Students will notate those patterns on the computer using music notation software


1. Teacher plays a four-beat pattern on the hand drum, and the class claps it back while saying the rhythmic syllables (“ta”, “ta-ti”)
2. Choose one student to come to the computer and notate the pattern using traditional notation or using stick notation (Kodaly template for stick notation provided in FINALE).
3. Class listens to and evaluates the playback. Is it correct?
4. Repeat the same pattern if necessary until it is correct.
5. Go back to step #1 and play a new pattern on the drum.


How many patterns did the students notate correctly?
How many repetitions were needed?
What was the difficulty level of the patterns?

Follow Up:

Use FINALE to enlarge the patterns and print them out to make flashcards that can be used for review.
Assign different instruments for playback in FINALE and launch a discussion on timbre.
Have students create their own 4-beat patterns and notate them.

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