2AT and dotted quarter notes

Today many children understood what a dot on a side of a note does. It’s quite confusing! Dots can be underneath or on top of a note and that means to play the note short, or staccato. Dots on the side of the note make the note longer. All week I’ve been trying to make it clear for students exactly how to work out the length of a dotted note.

Ask two questions.

1. How much is the note worth without a dot?

2. What is half of the note worth?

Add both the numbers together and you have your answer!

Students loved this backing track this morning and happily clapped dotted rhythms for about 4 minutes! Well done, Grade 2!


5KS Music today

We practised our songs for the next few performances focusing on dynamics and expression today. They are going to sound fantastic!

We clapped a rhythm pattern today that focused on dotted notes. This was fairly easy for grade 5 students to understand but it’s still difficult to clap so many rhythms correctly one after another. wpid-easyblog-CE43DF8B-54DC-4CB1-8624-ECB992BB2CFA.jpg

Here is the Irish music we used to clap along with.

Students enjoyed watching a Piano Guys video at the end of the lesson. The use of dynamics in this video has a big impact on the emotion of the music.

We haven’t had much time for recorder but here is a challenge for a couple of students who can already play or those who play another instrument. Pachelbel’s ‘Canon’ starts with a simple line but the variations get progressively harder.

To end of the lesson, we watched a pianist playing the Liszt ‘Hungarian Rhapsody’ that is used in a famous Tom and Jerry cartoon. It was exciting to watch someone play the real piece! We only watched a few minutes. Here is the entire performance.


3 TB music lesson

Grade 3 worked hard on their End of Year Show song today. We are adding dynamics and expression to make our performance super! We also practised our robot dance about 5 times! It’s not easy to remember all the moves!

We didn’t have much time to play recorder today but we did some long notes and checked fingerings for some tricky notes like Bb and bottom C. There are a couple of students who needed an extra challenge so I’ll put the video of Pachelbel’s ‘Canon’ here for you!

Our rhythm session focused on the dotted quarter note today. It can be difficult to understand what a dot on a side of a note does to its value as children need to understand fractions. A dotted quarter note is one and a half beats. Grade 3 did well to clap the rhythm below to the Celtic Grooves backing.


Celtic Grooves     I wonder if you can show your parents the rhythm?

At the end of the lesson, we watched a Piano Guys video. Here it is so you can watch it again!


Dotted Quarter Notes

Grade 2 students learned a new game this week. The song was very simple but students had to throw and catch a bean bag in different ways as they sang. It was lots of fun and challenging for coordination. We’ll do it again next time!

Our focus in rhythm today was the dotted quarter note. The backing track I chose was some upbeat, modern Irish music which suited our rhythms nicely. I hope your child claps the rhythms for you at home with the backing track. We clap each rhythm twice, doing the rhythm at the top of each color first. The children needed no help with the rhythm at the bottom of each rectangle – they are experts at quarter notes and half notes and their rests.

Celtic Grooves

Easy Blog Photo


Nearly every music lesson we practice rhythm in some way. Students are becoming very familiar with rhythms in simple time using whole, half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes and their rests. We are also learning some dotted rhythms.

I wanted to show students the video below about rhythm as it about the rhythm of daily life. Music is an integral part of life in Africa and something not as separated from daily life which is generally our experience. The children were especially interested in the audience etiquette which is somewhat different from the expectations we have at a concert or live performance!