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?
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.
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.
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
- 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.
More Flipped Thinking Theory
If you liked the approach of this video, you might also like these others:
- Flipped Basic Note Values
- Flipped Beginning Solfa
- Flip and Gameify Landmark Notes
- Flipped Time Signatures
- Flipped Note & Rest Values
- Flipped Dynamics
- Flipped Accidentals, Tones & Semitones
- Flipped Articulation
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?