Teaching Children Note Values in a Fun Way
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
Review Note Values
Do: Review each of the note values.
Chart: Common Note Values
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.
Kathleen Holyoak, age 5Click thumbnail to view full-size
"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.