Beat, musical figures and rhythm

    School sections
    • Primary
    Educational subjects
    • Choir
    • Music, Rhythm and movement
    • Aural skills (Ear training)
    • Composition
    • Vocalism


Each one of us has a subjective perception of the passing of time. In most cases, its passing is determined by the pleasure of the actions being accomplished, quoting Saint Augustine: “Time is an extension of the soul”.

Music flows in time, and rhythm regulates the flow of sounds in time, guided by a sequence of constant impulses. Such impulses constitute the beat, the “tactus” of the ancient musicians, the living heart of music.

The beat does not have an absolute speed, it changes depending on the nature, meaning and context to

which the musical piece belongs.

Through the playful use of the voice, body and movement, the path had the aim:

- to develop the ability to hear the beat in music using it both individually and in group

- to foster the knowledge and use of the four main musical figures, and to understand their duration as regards the beat

- to develop the ability to sing in a choir adding rhythmic cells and movements to the singing

Work tools

The activities were conducted in class and in the gym, always during school hours on a weekly basis. The students used: colored pencils, scissors, glue and some worksheets containing printed sequences to read and compose.
There were no great difficulties in the organization and realization of the path, and all the students had fun.

The experiences were drawn from the book "Giocando nasce il coro" by Carmelina Sorace, published by Milligraf.

Educational purposes

The skills, goals and training objectives selected by the teacher for this experience are shown below.

    • Sound perception
    • Interpretation
    • Analysis
    • Execution
    • Improvisation
    • Composition
    Reading and Writing
    • Use of unconventional analogic music notation
    • Use of conventional analogic music notation
    • Learning to listen to oneself and to the others
    • Identify the constitutive elements of a simple piece of music
    • Listening, interpreting and describing pieces of music of different genres
    • Exploring, identifying and elaborating sound phenomena on the basis of quality, space and source
    • Exploring different expressive capacities of voice, musical objects and musical instruments
    • Producing timbre, melodic and rhythmic combinations applying basic schemes; executing them with the voice, the body and instruments (including IT tools).
    • Improvising freely and creatively gradually learning to master techniques and materials
    • Playing, alone or in group, simple vocal or instrumental pieces of music belonging to different genres and cultures, using also didactic instruments and self-made tools.
    Reading and Writing
    • Using analog and codified notation
Educational targets

The students learned how to:

- listen actively and consciously.
- explore, identify and formulate rhythms and songs.
- listen to a song or a piece of music and recognize the beat.
- recognize the main characteristics of the musical figures.
- express themselves on their own and in group with their voice and body.
- use their body and voice to reproduce beats, rhythms and songs.
- use their voice in an original and creative way.
- sing in group keeping time and in harmony
- manage the potentialities of the voice in order to perform simple songs joined to cells and rhythmic movements
- respect their roles in class/choir .

- Use analogic and coded notation


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