Using Rhythm to Clean up Performance Material

Published by Darlene on


Welcome!  It is my turn to blog for the Music Education Blogs 31 Days of Rhythm!  I am part of a group of fantastic music teachers and we have partnered together, in honor of MIOSM (Music In Our Schools Month), to share 31 days worth of rhythmic goodies.  Here we are on Day 15.  I can’t believe we are already half way through the 31 days.

Let’s take a moment to look at why we use rhythm syllables to begin with.  I really appreciate the way David Row explains it on Make Moments Matter.

Rhythm syllables were developed so that students could have a musical way to read rhythm. The ideas is that this system could get away from mathematical counting (which feels unmusical) while still showing durations and relationships between notes.  A rhythm syllable system gives the student a set of nonsense syllables or sounds to associate with written notation and beat formations.  Just as solfege syllables (Do, Re, Mi) give the student a tangible thing to say or think when representing an interval or set of pitches, a rhythm syllable system gives the student an easy way to understand note value.  Being able to “think/audiate” in rhythm syllables also helps students to decode rhythms that they hear, making dictation/memorization/performance much easier. 

However, it is fun to swap out rhythm syllables for words centered around a theme, food, a season, etc. I have some apple rhythm words and some pizza rhythm words that are undated and can be used anytime of year that I use in my class. For this post we are going to refer to those as fun rhythm words. Words like…..

  • “pep-per-ro-ni” or “moz-za-rel-la” for four sixteenth notes,
  • “pi-zza” or “ba-con” for two eighth notes,
  • “pan”, “pie”, or “crust” for a quarter note,
  • “me-di-um” for triplets,
  • “meat-lov-ers” or “pine-ap-ple” for eighth / two sixteenth note pattern,
  • “mmmm” for a half note,
  • “dominos” for two sixteenth/ one eighth note pattern.

Be creative!

One of the ways using fun rhythm words is most effective is when I need them to clean up a performance piece we are learning. Currently we are working on a piece that has a rhythmic speaking part. It mixes 8th note triplets and 8th notes and sixteenth notes. The kids were getting it for the most part but it was muddy. I used the “fun rhythm words” to duplicate the rhythm in the song. I placed the appropriate fun words under each beat that would help us clean up the rhythm.  We marched in place while saying the rhythm, had a small group keep a steady beat on drums or rhythm sticks, and made the rhythm notation with our bodies.

The next time we were working on the performance piece, we made the connection of the muddy rhythm in our song to the rhythm, with the “fun rhythm words”, that we had fun with in our previous class. We replaced the “fun rhythm words” with the original words from the performance piece and it was so much cleaner.

One of my favorite sayings is:

You can give a man a fish,

he can eat for a day. 

You can teach a man to fish,

he can eat for a lifetime. 


This is more than just a fun activity, it is a teaching technique that you can use with any performance piece you are teaching. Even if the section needing work is sung and not spoken as in the example. If you have other rhythm words that you like to play with, then use those.  The point is you are now armed with yet another technique that you can use, no matter what performance piece your kids are learning. The next time you are teaching a piece and a problem arises, you now have a method with which you can confidently fix the problem.

Thanks for sharing in the 31 Days of Rhythm and continue to check the Music Ed Blogs for more rhythm ideas for the rest of this month.







Bassetti Handtuch · September 15, 2022 at 4:21 AM

… [Trackback]

[…] Here you will find 89410 more Info to that Topic: […]

gay chat room facebook · September 4, 2022 at 11:24 AM

gay chat rooms, san diego

gay hot chat · September 4, 2022 at 9:47 AM

gay chat ro

gay and bi chat and hookup · September 4, 2022 at 5:10 AM

gay couple on chat video

older gay chat · September 3, 2022 at 11:28 PM

black bottom gay chat

gay video chat sites · September 3, 2022 at 6:14 PM

gay chat rouletter

richie rose gay chat gay · September 3, 2022 at 2:07 PM

gay chat avenue without registration

snap chat gay boy cums · September 3, 2022 at 7:22 AM

gay tennessee chat rooms

chat gay en espanol gratis · September 3, 2022 at 3:05 AM

1st avenue chat gay

anonymous gay cam chat · September 2, 2022 at 2:35 PM

asain gay chat phone lines free

which senoir gay dating app has most members lakeland fl · August 23, 2022 at 9:45 AM

what’s the best site for finding a gay dating site for women

free dating for biand gay men · August 23, 2022 at 8:15 AM

frer gay male dating app

mister gay dating app · August 23, 2022 at 5:12 AM

gay dating sites cape cod

ipvanish vpn free · August 7, 2022 at 11:06 PM

astrill vpn

free vpn no download · August 7, 2022 at 6:41 PM

what is the best vpn service

avast secureline vpn · August 7, 2022 at 3:24 PM

free desktop vpn

buy a vpn router · August 7, 2022 at 12:57 PM

free vpn apps

zenmate vpn free · August 7, 2022 at 11:48 AM

best vpn canada

best vpn for kodi · August 7, 2022 at 9:05 AM

completely free vpn

free vpn apps · August 7, 2022 at 7:10 AM

best vpn service providers

Condor cbd reviews · July 11, 2022 at 9:22 AM

… [Trackback]

[…] Find More on that Topic: […]

thesis help · July 6, 2022 at 9:49 PM

dissertation fellowships

paper writing service · July 6, 2022 at 5:29 PM

getting help online

buy dissertation online · July 6, 2022 at 2:28 PM

writing dissertation chapters

dissertation writing plan · July 6, 2022 at 1:19 PM

dissertation help scam

dissertation definition · July 6, 2022 at 10:16 AM

dissertation help methodology

Anonymous · July 6, 2022 at 6:52 AM

how to write a dissertation proposal

phd dissertation writing · July 6, 2022 at 12:24 AM

doctoral dissertation help history

writing your dissertation in · July 5, 2022 at 11:02 PM

uk dissertation writing help online

writing a dissertation · July 5, 2022 at 4:49 PM

masters dissertation

writing your dissertation proposal · July 5, 2022 at 2:06 PM

writing a masters dissertation

dissertation writing services · July 5, 2022 at 10:46 AM

dissertation proposal writing services

writing help · July 5, 2022 at 8:36 AM

dissertation help online free

writing services · July 5, 2022 at 5:52 AM

dissertation assistance

1inflexible · July 4, 2022 at 6:50 AM


Le Belge, moins friand des emprunts hypothécaires? - Credafin, Le Belge, moins friand des emprunts hypothécaires? - Credafin, · June 26, 2022 at 10:45 AM

… [Trackback]

[…] Info on that Topic: […]

san jose real estate · June 24, 2022 at 9:46 AM

… [Trackback]

[…] Read More on on that Topic: […]

Bassetti Decke bestellen · June 16, 2022 at 7:09 AM

… [Trackback]

[…] Read More Information here to that Topic: […] · June 9, 2022 at 6:08 AM

… [Trackback]

[…] Here you will find 37493 more Information on that Topic: […] · April 27, 2022 at 4:45 PM

… [Trackback]

[…] Read More Info here on that Topic: […]

สล็อตวอเลท · April 13, 2022 at 3:50 PM

… [Trackback]

[…] Read More Information here to that Topic: […]

Firearms For Sale · April 11, 2022 at 5:28 AM

… [Trackback]

[…] Find More Info here on that Topic: […]

good cc shop · April 6, 2022 at 6:12 PM

… [Trackback]

[…] Find More on that Topic: […]

sbo · April 5, 2022 at 6:23 PM

… [Trackback]

[…] Here you will find 80556 more Info on that Topic: […]

Comments are closed.