Fruit1In pedagogy class while planning for group class one day, my professor taught us her favorite way of teaching 8th notes. She showed us simple flashcards with words for students to say and clap along. After she introduced the words alone, she put several in a row. Once they mastered the rhythm of the words, she began leading them to discover a notation system that would work for their new rhythm.  When I began teaching rhythms with this method of discovery, I found my students loved it!

Although this happened years ago, I’ve continued learning about many different sets of words teachers like to use for all kinds of rhythms. I’m sure you have your own favorite way of teaching rhythm and I love all the amazing ideas you creative teachers share!  They are all awesome!  As I teach, I’ve found that I love flashcards of everything to be prepared and ready for me at any time.

Fruit Rhythms1So I’ve started working on several sets of rhythms and words flashcards with images to help my youngest students as well.  Today I’d like to share my first sets with you – let me know how you like them!  As I keep working on them I’ll try to share the next set if they turn out well too. There are separate flashcards for the words and rhythms so you can introduce them separately. And if you have any words you love to use to help students learn rhythms please share your ideas in the comments below!

Download here: Fruit Rhythms1 – Quarter & Eighth notes

Fruit Rhythms 2 – 16th notes

Fruit Rhythms 3 – Quarter & Eighth notes


Author: Whitney

Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at

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