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Teaching Children Note Values in a Fun Way

Updated on December 13, 2016
Kathleen Holyoak profile image

Kathleen Holyoak, award winning composer, pianist and organist now serves as organist at BYU's Jerusalem Center in Israel.


Joined: 7 years agoFollowers: 4Articles: 3
Learning about notes values is fun!
Learning about notes values is fun! | Source

Teaching Note Values

Summer is a wonderful time to teach children about music. 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 understand note values.

What You Need

You will need about a dozen 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
A Whole Note | Source

A Whole Note = 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 Half Note
A Half 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)


Learning Note Values
Learning Note Values | Source
A Quarter Note
A Quarter Note

Quarter Notes are Black with 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)

Children learn by association.
Children learn by association.
8th Note
8th Note

Eighth Notes

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.

Four 16th Notes Equal One Quarter Note.
Four 16th Notes Equal One Quarter Note.

16th Notes get 1/4 of a Quarter

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.

Time Signature in 4/4
Time Signature in 4/4
Making Music Notes Fit Measures of Music.
Making Music Notes Fit Measures 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

Note Values
Note Values | Source

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.

Kathleen Holyoak, age 5

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Source

World on a String, Children's CD

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    • Janice 2 years ago

      This is awesome!

    • Kathleen Holyoak profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

      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 2 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

      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. .http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Childrens-CDs-by...

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

    • LailaK profile image

      LailaK 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      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 2 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

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

    • Daniel Carter profile image

      Daniel Carter 2 years ago from Western US

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

    • Kathleen Holyoak profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

      Thank you! Check back soon for more to come.

    • mckay 2 years ago

      Excellent!

    • Kathleen Holyoak profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

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

    • Deena 2 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

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

    • ruth marie 2 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

      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 profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

      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 2 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

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

    • villyvacker profile image

      Billy Turnock 2 years ago from Manchester England

      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 2 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

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

    • KarenMineer 2 years ago

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

    • Zelma Kinnison 2 years ago

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

    • Kathleen Holyoak profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

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

    • Reese 2 years ago

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

    • Kathleen Holyoak profile image
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      Kathleen Holyoak 2 years ago from Paradise Valley, Arizona

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

    • G. W. 2 years ago

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

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