Having established the feel and sound of compound time in the previous lessons the moment has now come to introduce the rhythm symbols.
Of course each student is different and will grasp the concept at his/her own pace. Working through all the stages, however, ensures that all pupils will learn and understand the concept. Do it too quickly and there is the possibility that compound will never be fully grasped by some students.
- Play copycat games with you clapping and saying a compound time rhythm which the pupil copies. If he/she is confident roles can be reversed. If the student is not confident or gets it wrong some of the stages in lessons 1 and 2 can be re-visited.
- When the pupil can 'hear' the rhythms, introduce the rhythm notation using the rhythm flashcards. Flashcards (which should be cut up) can be taken home to be 'practiced'.
- Play the Wild Horseman again, this time encouraging the pupil to follow the notation (this works a treat using an App called Tonara).
- Invent some games or activities using the flashcards. For example choose a couple of flashcard patterns and play a familiar scale in the pattern.
- Introduce a new piece in compound time - for ideas see the easy Compound Repertoire suggested by members of the Piano Teachers' Course EPTA UK Discussion Forum.
- Using rhythms from the piece about to be introduced go back to working aurally. Tap rhythms from the new piece for your student to copy and say rhythm patterns.
- Taking one rhythm at a time get your student to write it down.
- Can they find the rhythms the same rhythms in the score?
A final thought - the first compound piece to be learnt should be fairly achievable in technique and style. If it is too hard in these areas the focus on learning and understanding compound rhythm will get lost!