The Half Note
Lesson Book page 14
- The Half Note
- Feeling half notes
- Recognizing half notes
- Understanding the relationship between half and quarter notes
let's get started
- Let's walk across the studio in slow steps. (Count 1-2, 1-2 as you walk.) Now let's cross the studio quickly. (Count 1, 1, 1, 1 … )
- I'll take a walk. Am I walking in half or quarter notes? (Demonstrate. Bend at the knees to pulse the half notes.)
- (Use the book to show how half notes look.)
- Let's draw some half notes. Use the book and chant: It's got a head and a stem but it's not colored in. (Download duet)
- Choose any key(s). Use one hand, or both. (Guide the student to play half notes, then quarter notes. Switch back and forth.)
Changing note values as part of a duet is a musical experience.
explore and create
Step On It!Sit forward on a bench or chair so that the feet touch the floor. "Step" from one foot to the other, counting 1, 1, 1, 1.
At the same time clap, counting 1, 1, 1, 1 (quarter notes). Then clap half notes, counting 1-2, 1-2. The feet continue to step in quarter notes. Switch back and forth.
Love That Beat!Have the student play half and quarter notes while you play a short piece of music. March music is effective for this. (See video of Bach's Musette in G)
Rhythm is an inner awareness, not a counting system.
p. 7 The Half Note
Guide the student through the activities on the page. More activities might include
- Make a half note out of clay
- Find hidden half and quarter notes in the studio
- Write his/her age in half notes and quarter notes
The most important thing about rhythm is that it must be felt. Keeping a steady beat must be established in order to feel notes that are twice as long as the beat itself. It's a matter of kinesthetics, not mathematics.
Kinesthetics describes the awareness you have of motion, especially the motion, balance, position, and weight of your own body.
Helping a student achieve that awareness is at the heart of teaching rhythm.