As a piano student, I hated sight reading. Even now, the mere mention of the phrase brings up horrible exam experiences from my past where I battled through sweaty hands and blurry vision to try to recreate something that sounded like music.
Because of my childhood experiences, I avoided sight reading instruction as a young piano teacher. My own “bad memories” of sight reading left me reluctant to spend lesson time on something I myself had dreaded. But, I quickly came to my senses and found a way to make sight reading more enjoyable and less scary.
I learned that an early introduction to sight reading should involve a scaffolded approach that first separates rhythm reading and note reading. And then, only when students can sight read single-note rhythms and single- rhythm notes, should the two be combined.
To help you scaffold your approach to sight reading today we are sharing a rhythm-reading printable. It works great as a standalone activity and even better when you pair it with Bedtime For Bull Shark; one of four quirky and wonderful piano games that members of Teach Piano Today’s PianoGameClub are receiving as a part of June’s 4-game set.
Before you get to today’s printable below, take a moment to preview June games from PianoGameClub. If you’re wondering how you can keep kids excited about music when they return to lessons after summer PianoGameClub is your answer!
Click on the image below to view Bedtime For Bull Shark, Core Uproar, Crooked Koala, and Tame The Train. Then, If you like what you see and want to become a member, visit PianoGameClub here to sign up today for just $8 monthly. Note: This game set is only available until June 30, 2018 only.
A Rhythm Printable To Take The ‘Scary’ Out Of Sight Reading… With A Focus On Rests
We hope you enjoyed the preview of June’s games. Now, let’s get to today’s rhythm reading printable. This printable focuses on three different rest values to give your students the opportunity to practice including rests in simple rhythms. To begin, click on the image below (or click here), print out the activity, and then read the following instructions to your student:
- To “wake the Bull Shark”, roll a die and then write the resulting value in the first circle on the shark’s blanket. Roll again if the die displays a “5” or “6”.
- Roll the die three more times and write the resulting values in the three subsequent circles that rest on the shark’s blanket. You have now created your Rhythm-Reading Road Map.
- Clap the rhythms below the image in the order of the Rhythm-Reading Road Map generated in Steps 1 – 2. Next, create a new numbered path and clap the rhythms again!
When you’re finished, pull out Bedtime For Bull Shark and have more fun reinforcing your students’ recognition and understanding of rhythm.