Teaching Children Note Values in a Fun Way - WeHaveKids - Family
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Teaching Children Note Values in a Fun Way

Kathleen Holyoak is an award winning composer, pianist, organist, and author.

Teaching Note Values

Teaching music to young and old can be very rewarding. Music is mathematical so learning note values is easy if you know where to start. When you teach creatively, imaginations soar! This is a simple way to teach children how to better understand note values.

Learning about notes values is fun!

Learning about notes values is fun!

Let's Get Started. This is What You Need . . .

You will need about a dozen sheets of 8" x 10" colored construction paper, a black marker, scissors, music notes printed or drawn on paper and a chart showing the basic note values.

Music Notes Have Different Values

Explain: Music is made up of different kinds of notes that show us how long the sound will last.

Do: Hold up an 8" x 10" size of paper with a picture of a whole note.

teaching-children-note-values-in-a-fun-way

A Whole Note is Equal to Four Counts

Explain: A whole note in music has the longest sound. The note is white and has no stem.

Say: Let's pretend that the whole piece of paper is equal to the value of a whole note or a total of 4 counts.


A Whole Note

A Whole Note

Half Notes = Half the Value of Whole Notes

Do: Take a 2nd sheet of paper, fold it in half, and cut.

Ask: How many pieces do we have?

Explain: A half note has half the value of a whole note.

  • A half note is white but it has a stem.
  • A half note is equal to 2 counts.

Ask: If a half note gets 2 counts, how many are equal to a whole note? (2)


A Half Note

A Half Note

Children learn by association.

Children learn by association.

Quarter Notes are Black and Have a Stem

Do: Take a 3rd sheet of paper, fold it in quarter, cut.

Ask: How many pieces do we have now? How many quarter notes equal a whole? (4)

A Quarter Note

A Quarter Note

An eight note looks like a quarter note but has a flag and is half the value of a quarter note.

Do: Take a 4th sheet of paper, fold it into 8 parts, and cut into pieces.

Explain: Now we have 8th notes. The notes are filled in and black, have a stem, and also a flag which helps them move faster.

8th Note

8th Note

Note Values Change in Value

Explain: As the papers are folded smaller and smaller, the note values become shorter.

Say: If I were to fold the 8 pieces of paper in half, there would be a total of 16.

16th Notes Get 1/4 the Value of a Quarter Note.

Ask: How many 16th notes are equal to one quarter note? (4)


Four 16th Notes Equal One Quarter Note.

Four 16th Notes Equal One Quarter Note.

A Measure is a Division of Music.

Explain: When we create music, we put music notes into small divisions or something called "measures". Measures of music make up musical sentences.

  • Hold up 8" x 10" paper with a 4/4 time signature
Learning Note Values

Learning Note Values

Time Signature in 4/4 Time

Explain: This 8 x 10 sized paper represents one measure of music, one whole note, or a total of 4 counts.

  • We can fill this measure with notes of different values.
  • The total value or number of counts for this measure is 4.
  • There can be no more or no less than 4 counts in this measure of music.
Time Signature in 4/4

Time Signature in 4/4

Practice Makes Perfect!

Explain: When we create music, we put music notes into small divisions called "measures".

  • Measures of music make up musical sentences.
  • Each measure must have the same number of counts.
teaching-children-note-values-in-a-fun-way

Review Note Values

Do: Review each of the note values.

Chart: Common Note Values

Note Values

Note Values

Making Music Notes Fit Measures of Music.

Making Music Notes Fit Measures of Music.

Summary

Explain: We have just learned some basic facts about note values. Practice making measures of music with the various note values and see how many different combinations you can put together. Learning about music notes helps us to understand music and to learn to play instruments.

"A Little Note"

When our grandchildren were visiting recently, I found this little note in my office from a granddaughter. It certainly made me smile because she realized the importance of music in my life.

Comments

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on April 23, 2020:

Thank you!

Sherry Summers on January 29, 2020:

These are some great ideas for teaching note values simply. I enjoyed this, very much.

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on January 26, 2020:

You are never too young or too old to learn to read music or learn to play an instrument. They say "Music is the language of the Gods." Music communicates in a way that words can never speak and paints a thousand pictures.

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on September 14, 2018:

I am thrilled to know this might be helpful.

Please stay in touch.

Denisa Fox on September 13, 2018:

Kathleen - What an awesome way to teach the value of notes. I have a daughter with Down syndrome and she learns best visually. Thank you for sharing.

Kathleen Holyoak on October 06, 2017:

I appreciate your interest and hope it will prove helpful when teaching young children.

kazemahmadi on October 06, 2017:

Thank you so much for your straight forward hubpage..

Janice on September 07, 2014:

This is awesome!

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on August 18, 2014:

Thank you, Sharon. I greatly appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read my hubpage and to comment. If any of you would like to see a particular topic, feel free to make suggestions.

Sharon on August 15, 2014:

Wow! I didn't read this one first. What a great way to teach children about rhythm . . . . I will have to try this.

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on August 05, 2014:

It's never too late to learn. I didn't start composing music until I was nearly 50 and in another week I'll be 70!! Please know at any age you can start and don't give up on that idea.

I have another hubpage you might be interested in reading which explains how and why I started writing children's music. .https://hubpages.com/entertainment/Childrens-CDs-b...

Please feel free to write and I am happy to share anything I can with you.

LailaK from Atlanta, Georgia on August 05, 2014:

I really enjoyed reading your hub! Unfortunately, my parents didn't put me in any music lessons like I wanted. So I never learned about music or notes or how to play an instrument. But I aim to learn how to play an instrument soon. This gave me an idea about what I will learn about. Voted up!

KSmith on July 27, 2014:

Music was such a large part of my life as a child, this is a great way to teach basic music theory. Great job!

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on July 25, 2014:

I really appreciate your interest and there are a lot more to come.

Daniel Carter from Salt Lake City, Utah on July 25, 2014:

Great article, Kathy! I think these articles are going to be so valuable as more and more people discover them!

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on July 25, 2014:

Thank you! Check back soon for more to come.

mckay on July 25, 2014:

Excellent!

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on July 24, 2014:

Thank you, Deena. My effort in expressing myself musically is to make the world a little brighter and spark the curiosity of children.

Deena on July 24, 2014:

Love the music lesson helps. Perfect for teaching the little ones. I have your CD World on a String and always have it on while driving kids around. We all love to sing along. Amazing talent.

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on July 18, 2014:

Thanks so much for checking out my hubpage. I hope you can pass the information along to some of your grandchildren.

ruth marie on July 18, 2014:

your music and your compositions are great and good for everyone to use. Your are very talented and giving in your efforts. You have the energy and gift of happiness to share with others. Thank You...

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on July 18, 2014:

I greatly appreciate each of your comments regarding this hugpage. Since it is my first, I look forward to publishing many more regarding music and some of my life experiences regarding my music writing. Please take a moment and click how you rate the article to help me improve my writing skills.

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on July 18, 2014:

Jeff, it's always nice to hear from students I've taught and we certainly go back many, many years. You are so gifted and I love the handmade classical guitar you made for me and proudly display it in my living room. Check back in the near future for more Hubpage articles.

Jeff3948 on July 18, 2014:

I remember you teaching us this in 7th grade music class at Highland's Junior High School. It was great to have a refresher on this, after all it's been 43 years since then. Thanks for introducing me to Classical music back then. It's really kept me going during the best and the worst times.

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on July 18, 2014:

Thanks so much for your interest. I have a lot of ideas I will be sharing in the near future so check back.

Billy Turnock from Manchester England on July 18, 2014:

Great hub this one Kathleen...I wish someone had taught me to read music when I was young.....for years I pronounced it Mussik.....only kidding....it's great to get kids learning early to read music.

Isaac Babeeyo on July 18, 2014:

There is no better way that am going to be teaching my children music than this thank you for the great materials and guidance, love you and the music its so great.

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on July 17, 2014:

Thanks for your interest and it's such an easy way to help them gain an understanding of note values.

KarenMineer on July 17, 2014:

I am SO doing this with my grandchildren! Thanks Kathy!

Zelma Kinnison on July 17, 2014:

Excellent with workable ideas and very helpful to those attempting to teach music to their children.

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on July 17, 2014:

Thank you, Reese. Be sure to check back in the near future for another Hubpage entitled "Rhythm and Musical Pie.."

Reese on July 17, 2014:

This is wonderful! I'll be sure to show this to my kids.

Kathleen Holyoak (author) from Paradise Valley, Arizona on July 17, 2014:

Thank you so much. My grandchildren and all those children I've taught through the years were my inspiration.

G. W. on July 17, 2014:

I really enjoyed this and think it is a great way to get children excited about learning music.