How to Teach Time Signatures (the Fun Way) in the Piano Studio

What way do you teach time signatures? How early on do you introduce this concept? Do you wait until your favourite method book brings up the topic of time signatures?

How to teach time signatures the fun way

How to teach time signatures the fun way

For me, time signatures have to come almost right at the start of reading music, because without them students wouldn’t be able to compose rhythms. And I think constructing and composing rhythms yourself is one of the best ways to get used to the note values.

Which is why time signatures had to be next on the agenda for my Thinking Theory videos.

Time Signature Video

This straight forward time signature explanation video is part of my flipped music theory video series. Send it home to parents and have them watch it during the week so you can explore time signatures and have some fun during the lesson.

UK/International Video

USA Video

After this video students will be ready to complete page 6 of Thinking Theory Book One. To see the full insides of the Thinking Theory workbooks and find out what makes them special click here. My students are getting wonderful results from these theory books.

Relative Rhythms

I love using my relative rhythm cards for practicing the rhythm construction. Ask your student to make a rhythm in 2:4, 3:4 or 4:4 and then get creative with the rhythm they composed. You could try out their rhythm with:

  • Drums and rhythm instruments
  • Marching & hopping
  • Stamping
  • Clapping
  • Any one piano key
  • A piano scale
  • Improvising on a pentascale

While I ask my students to compose in a random time signature each time, I do slyly include more triple metre in any exercise like this. Triple feel is almost completely absent from the radio these days and I always like to get in extra aural practice where I can. Sneaky sneaky teacher. 😉

More Great Time Signatures Games

There are lots of ways to work on time signatures, and lots of sides of rhythm to consider. That’s why this area of music theory is covered so comprehensively in the Vibrant Music Teaching library.

Become a member today and discover everything the library has to offer.

More Flipped Thinking Theory

If you liked the approach of this video, you might also like these others:

When do you teach time signatures in your piano studio?

Do you introduce them formally or just let students pick them up as they go? Which time signatures do your students find trickiest?

3 thoughts on “How to Teach Time Signatures (the Fun Way) in the Piano Studio”

  1. Thank you so much! I can’t use them because the term “crochet” will throw everyone into utter confusion. 🙂 But it’s a great idea! Maybe I will try to make my own, although I don’t have the video editing skills! I love all your resources and ideas.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Nancy, glad you enjoyed the video. American versions are on my to-do list for the future. In the meantime, stay tuned for the ones that work for both sides of the Atlantic. 🙂

      Reply

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BAKING & BIKING

Talking to Parents about Practice


Join Nicola Cantan and Samantha Coates for this live masterclass on September 22nd.

In this masterclass, Nicola Cantan and Samantha Coates will discuss their favourite analogies for educating parents about music practice. You’ll bake a metaphorical practice pie with Nicola, ride a fictional practice bike with Samantha, and by the end you’ll feel much more confident discussing practice with parents in your studio.

This session will be oodles of fun as well as having lashings of practical ideas to use in your teaching. Come play with practice with us!

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