The Quarter Note
Lesson Book page 10
- Steady pulse
- Quarter note
- Feeling and keeping a steady pulse
- Recognizing the quarter note: how it feels, sounds, and looks
let's get started
- Music must have a steady beat. The beat can be fast or slow, but it must be steady.
- (Get a steady beat going. Clap, tap, march, or use a drum.)
- Can you keep a steady beat with me? Let's count "1" (or "ta" or "walk") for each beat.
- A quarter note can be a picture for one beat. It's got a head and a stem, and it's all colored in. (See video and download duet)
A steady pulse must become a kinesthetic experience!
explore and create
Fast and Slow Steady BeatI'll play two examples of a steady beat. Tell me which is fast, which is slow.
Listen to My BeatsRaise your hand when you hear the beat getting faster or slower.
Metronome FunListen to this! (Use a metronome.) Beats can be very slow, or very fast. Choose keys to play with braced finger 3s and match the beat.
Haydn ConcertoI'm going to play some fast, fancy music. You play steady quarter notes and help me feel the beat! (See video and download duet)
p. 5 The Quarter Note
Guide the student through the activities on the page. More activities might include
- Make a quarter note out of clay
- Finds hidden quarter notes in the studio
- Writes his or her age in quarter notes (seven years equals seven quarter notes)
Keeping a steady pulse is fundamental to good musicianship—at all levels, and at all times. At the beginning, therefore, it's important that the concept of pulse is internalized. All rhythm patterns build on that single principle.
Pulse must become a kinesthetic experience, something felt internally. Using different physical gestures—like tapping, walking, clapping, or drumming—to establish a sense of pulse is more important than "counting".