Rockin’ Rhythms – Introducing Note Values with Jumping and Stamping

These cards are a great first introduction to note values. Before talking about what each one “means” and tackling the maths of it all. I like to get students used to the shapes and their Kodály names.

Rockin' rhythms

Rockin' rhythms off-bench activity for piano preschoolers

It’s much more natural and intuitive to call the shape “ta” than to say “this is a crotchet, a crotchet is worth one beat”. That just doesn’t mean much to young kids!

Get them jumping, clapping, stamping and tapping instead and they pay much better attention to the differences between the symbols.
Rockin' Rhythms

We start out by just drawing random cards from the pile and figuring out which action they need to do. Then we make our own songs on the floor by lining up some cards in a row on the floor and say the Kodály names while “dancing” along.

I have found so many ways to use these cards including card games like snap, go fish and war, and I’m still coming up with new ideas all the time.

Download Rockin’ Rhythms

You can download these rockin’ rhythm cards to use yourself, just print them out double sided, cut them apart and laminate, and let me know if you have any questions or comments below!

Need more piano teaching games?

Try the off-the-bench catalogue. This post has a huge list of free games from around the web, organised by the concepts covered. You’re sure to find something fun to play.

4 thoughts on “Rockin’ Rhythms – Introducing Note Values with Jumping and Stamping”

  1. I’m wondering how the whole note has just three syllables: ‘Ta-a-a” – How do you make that sound like 4 beats? Was it a mistake in the printing and meant to be for a dotted half note?

  2. This activity would be great for my wiggly preschooler. We are using the Piano Safari counting – “ta 2 3 4”. Would you consider making a set that counts like the PS series?


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