Rhythm Routine

When I first started working at a private school in Japan, I was not prepared to teach elementary music.

So I had to stop and decide the following:
  • What do I want the students to be able to do after a year of being my student?
  • What is important to me?

Here were the answers I came up with:
  • The students must sing songs native to their country and culture (Okinawa, Japan) daily
  • The students must clap/count/sing rhythms daily
  • The students must play instruments on a weekly basis

The content

After scouring the internet for something to facilitate my practice, testing out tons of videos and routines, these are the ones that worked best for my kiddos. I hope you find value in them too.

Update: I noticed that it was difficult for some of my students sitting in the back to see the rhythms, so I created a rhythm book and rhythm videos to go along with it. Now my students can look up at the video or follow the page in front of them. The students have grown more confident in their rhythm-reading and the moving arrow is a great accommodation for the students who need the extra help. 

Videos are listed in the order that I play them for the class.


Rhythms Level 1

Quarter Notes, Quarter Rests

Rhythms Level 2

Eighth Notes, Quarter Notes, Quarter Rests


  1. I enjoyed your videos but can’t use them for my classes unless I stop them before they get to the end, where it shows your picture. Unfortunately, students get giggly because it appears you aren’t wearing a top. I don’t like to criticize, but if that’s something you can possibly change, it would be more usable in the elementary classroom.

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  4. Hi Bernadette! I have been using your beginner ukulele videos to teach my middle schoolers during this pandemic. You are an incredibly good teacher. I also teach pre-K, K, and lower elementary, where I use your rhythm videos with each level. There are a lot of boys in my classes! Not one student has ever giggled or made an inappropriate comment about your photo. In fact, several students (boys and girls) think you are beautiful and have said so. If I did have a student that "got giggly" because they think you are not wearing a top, I would use that as a teachable moment. I would explain to them that it is not the 1940s or 1950s (80 and 70 years ago, respectively) and women may wear whatever they want. (And that, of course you are wearing a top.) Additionally, shoulders and collarbones are not, in fact, body parts that are taboo in public places. We must not teach girls that they must cover themselves so that boys can go about their lives without distraction. If the school dress code says we must cover our shoulders, then we have agreed to those rules and we can agree to follow them if we attend that school. But a picture at the end of a rhythm video? Puh-lease. If someone doesn't like it, they can make their own rhythm video! :D

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