Song Formats are unique to Music You Can Read®. Use the Rhythm Format before or after the Beat Format.


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Song Formats
Pitch Warm-ups
Rhythm Warm-ups


Lesson Templates

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Rhythm Format
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Additional Information

  • Why use the Rhythm format?
  • When should the Rhythm format be introduced?
  • Can you use the Rhythm format before reading the Beat format?
  • Assessments
    • Primary grades k-2
    • Upper Primary grades 3-8
  • Teaching Tips

The Beat format demonstrates where each pitch will begin, while maintaining a steady beat. The Rhythm format demonstrates the length of each pitch. In some cases the Rhythm format can be used first, especially in simple meters where beat divisions are no shorter than eighths. Before students begin chanting the Rhythm format, you should warm up and reinforce the rhythmic divisions using the outline below, while tapping the knee.


1. Chanting the four beats (ta-ta-ta-ta) each ta tapped on the knee.
2. Chanting the beat divisions. (ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti) showing how the beat is divided into two equal parts with a ti on the bottom (knees) and a ti at the top (hands in the air).
3. Chanting the * beat divisions. (ti-ri-ti-ri...) showing how the 1/2 beats are divided into two equal parts with the ri occurring half way up and half way down, between the two ti's.

If there is a difficult passage, or new division, you can have them imitate the divisions as you demonstrate. When you read the music, always ask if the passage you demonstrated can be found.

Developing the note associations to chanted divisions will lead to chanting the rhythm from the Music format, once this is mastered, the Rhythm format becomes a valuable resource for practicing NEW or DIFFICULT passages.



  • How many ti's make a TA?
  • TA/a means the note receives how many beats?
  • How many beats does TA/a/a represent?
  • If the note has TA/a/a/a under it, how many beats does it receive?
  • Are there any repeated sections? Where?
  • If we called this section (staff) red, what could we call this section (staff)?


  • Are there any divisions of the beat? Where?
  • Does the beat divisions change? Where?
  • How much of a beat does the slash (/) receive?
  • Are there any additional tempo markings? Where?
  • Are there any additional rhythm markings? Where?
  • Where is the toughest passage? Can some one clap it for us?
  • Are there any syncopated beats? Where? Why are the called syncopated?
  • Are there any repeated sections? Where?


1. Let the ADD or ADHD student use a pointer as the class chants the rhythm.
2. They may pick a helper if not able to maintain moderate a steady beat.
3. Mimic the tapping of the rhythm while pointing to the notes.
4. Slow the pace allowing the greatest number of students to achieve success.
5. Once mastered, increase the pace.
6. Practice difficult passages first.

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