Instrumental Rhythms


This is the last in the rhythm unit of work for Year 2.  So far, the children have done Superhero, Transformer, Rondo, Composer and Tasty Rhythms.  Instrumental Rhythms is the last in the series.  The final set of rhythms is on families of the orchestra; String Rhythms, Woodwind Rhythms, Brass Rhythms and Percussion Rhythms.  Through this lesson children will learn to identify orchestral instruments in the four families.  The rhythms are written in pitch order from high to low.  There are no new rhythms in this lesson but we do have a triplet in one, to remind the children of what we did in the last lesson.  The rhythms will be played on tambourines, lollipop drums, maracas and, for a change, sand blocks as we have not used these instruments and we happen to have a set of eight in the department.

instrument rhythms

Although this is the last in the series, this is not the last time we will encounter these rhythms.  I will use them as a starter in next terms unit, but we will just clap them.  If you don’t keep revisiting the rhythms they will easily get forgotten.  It is also best to interleave practising the rhythms as it is one of the best ways of securing a concept into long-term memory.  So every other week we will go through a set of these rhythms just as a short, two minute activity.

There is a lot in this weeks lesson.  The names of the instruments, what they look like, their timbre, their pitch and the rhythms themselves.  Consequently, I will spend a lot of time going through this before we start.  A good website I have used in the past is the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra page for children.  We will go through all the instruments mentioned in the rhythms using this site before we play anything.  The children in my classes are quite familiar with orchestral instruments as every week the last thing we do is listen to four instruments and work out what instrument it is from the sound.  They are also familiar with the names of the families as we go through them every lesson too.  Just a minute or so doing this every lesson can have a massive cumulative effect.

Next half term’s work is on timbre so this is a good short introduction into instruments and how they can be used and combined.

Here are the pdf’s of the Instrumental Rhythm set:

Percussion Rhythms

String Rhythms

Woodwind Rhythms

Brass Rhythms

Orchestral Rhythms



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