Understanding Basic Musical Rhythms

Understanding Basic Musical Rhythms

A lesson plan by Nina L. Wilkinson, MYA School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:



Middle School Grades 5 and 6




45 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students have varied knowledge in understanding basic musical rhythms

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing

NAfME Standards of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating

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

NAfME 2014: Responding

NAfME Standards of 1994: Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture.

NAfME 2014: Connections


Computers, Blackboard, Keyboards, and Rhythm Instruments


After listenting to "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven, the students will be albe to recognize and perform half notes, quater notes and eighth notes with the assistance of the computer as a visual and hearing tool.


String Viola Class Lesson 60 min.

  1. Ode to Joy will be playing while students are coming into the class room. 5 min
  2. After students have settled down, have them hum the melody while teacher plays it on the piano. 5 min.
  3. Ask students if they heard" Ode to Joy "before music class. 2min
  4. Ask to see if any one knows who the comnpose is. 5 min (Beethoven)
  5. Give a breif history back round about Beethoven and the period in which he wrote "Ode to Joy" 10 min
  6. Have students go the thier listing stations and pull up on the computer Beethoven’ "Ode to Joy." 7 min
  7. Ask students what is the rhythmical make up of the song. (quarter notes, eighth notes and half notes.)
  8. Have students just to clap the rhythm.
  9. Have students to point out what notes are fast or slow etc.
  10. Teacher will tell them the correct musical names and values of notes in Ode to Joy
  11. Hand out sheet to stuedtnst with half notes quarter notes and eighth notes.


Students will have a solid understanding of notes on the Viola in 1st postion

Follow Up:

Group Reading Lesson
Viola Ensemble
Gavotte in G minor by J.S. Bach
in Suzuki Book 3

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