Today I want to share a printable my students love! Rhythm Searches are my fun music version of word searches. A rhythm search is easy to use in private lessons and/or group lessons. I’ve made two levels to start with this month.

Level 1:
  • 4/4 time
  • 1 measure examples (4 beats total)
  • whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes (and rests)
Level 2:
  • 4/4 time
  • 2 measures examples (8 beats total)
  • whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, dotted quarter notes eighth notes, dotted eighth notes, and sixteenth notes

Maybe it’s just my students, but we seem to NEED regular reviews of dotted notes. Thus I’m always trying to create new activities that make them practice counting dotted rhythms.

The activity is pretty self explanatory so your students will get the hang of it quickly. The rhythm patterns on the bottom half of the page are hidden in the big box of rhythms above. Rhythms can go diagonal, up & down, or side to side (just like word searches). I like to use color highlighters to mark the rhythm patterns as the student finds them but pencils or pens to circle them work fine too.

Every time we do a rhythm search, my rule is that the student must also count it out loud. We use Ta’s & Ti-ti’s, 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &, or word counting (App-le, Grape, Wa-ter-me-lon). We often pull out a drum, shaker or wood blocks to make the rhythm on. Or clapping works great too if nothing else is on hand. After this page is finished, we open up to a tricky piece and count the rhythms out loud while we have our instruments out. Another reinforcement idea would be to send students home to compose a piece using one or more of the rhythms they just found and counted. It’s a great way to keep them counting those tricky dotted rhythms or eighth notes all week!

Enjoy this quick rhythm review with a new twist!

Download here: RhythmSearch1 and RhythmSearch2


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