Rhythm Journey

by Dan Thieman

Take a journey with this new Noodle Toonz™ piece, "Rhythm Journey"! Noodle Toonz are usually sold as individual downloadable singles (available at MusicK8.com), but we included "Rhythm Journey" in this issue so that you and your students can try it out to experience how neat Noodle Toonz are.

This particular Noodle Toonz keeps all three of the student parts in unison rhythm throughout. The challenge is that the rhythms don't simply repeat a pattern measure after measure – each measure is slightly different with just a few exceptions. The tempo is slow, and the rhythms are not too complex, but your students will need to focus on rhythm reading to get it right. In a way, "Rhythm Journey" is similar to how rhythm flashcards work, if you've ever used those. If some students would like more of a challenge, the Chime Plate part includes two styles of playing: "muted," and "let ring," which adds some complexity. A PDF of instructions explaining the different styles of playing can be found within the "Rhythm Journey" zip file once you download and open that. (See details in the downloadables box on this page.)

If you haven't yet discovered Noodle Toonz, here's a brief explanation of what they are and how they work: Noodle Toonz are downloadable videos that show color-coded music notation for each of the three Noodle Kit instruments (Rhythm Sticks, Noodle Blocks, and Chime Plate with Bolt Striker). The video shows the notation scrolling by on screen while the music plays, and students follow along – no pesky page turns! You can use similar sounding instruments if you already have access: Rhythm Sticks are quite common, Noodle Blocks sound a lot like sand blocks, and the Chime Plate sounds much like a triangle. Otherwise, Noodle Kits can be purchased at MusicK8.com if you prefer those instruments.

The three student parts for "Rhythm Journey" that are printed in this magazine are the same parts that you see in the video. The printed parts will work well for your students to practice and learn with. But Noodle Toonz are most fun if you are able to download the video and project it in your classroom.

Keep an eye out for more Noodle Toonz at MusicK8.com Have fun and enjoy the journey!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.