Lesson 9

Rhythm Dictation: Hot Cross Buns

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman,
and in this lesson we're going to be talking about rhythm and beat,
and we're also going to dictate our first rhythm. So what is a beat in music?
I'm sure you've felt your heart beat many times. It's easy to feel
when you've been running fast. When you exercise, your heart beats fast.
When you're really calm or when you're asleep, your heart beats more slowly.
But, whether it's fast or slow, your heart is always beating
to help keep you alive.

In music there's always a beat too, and the beat can be fast like in my theme song,
Or the beat can be slow like in this prelude by Chopin. But the beat is always there,
and it's steady. Let's try clapping a steady beat together.
Can you clap this beat with me? Clap along. Feel how steady this is. Beat, beat,
always steady, steady, beat. And that's one thing that sets music apart
from just random noise. Music has a beat, a pulse. It's like the life force,
the heartbeat of music.

Now it's time to try dictating our first rhythm.
Dictating means taking something you hear and writing it down.
So let's try dictating the rhythm of "Hot Cross Buns".
I call this the heartbeat mat, and each heart shape is 1 beat: boom, boom, boom.
So first let's try singing "Hot Cross Buns," and point to each beat
on your screen with me as we sing. So point and sing with me, ready, go:

♫ Hot cross buns ♫
♫ Hot cross buns ♫
♫ One a penny, two a penny, ♫
♫ hot cross buns ♫

What did you notice as we did that together?
Did you notice that there were some beats that didn't have a sound in them?
Let's see if we can find where those beats were.

♫ Hot cross buns ♫

Can you point to a beat that didn't have a sound in it? If you're pointing right here,
you're correct. In music when there is no sound in a beat,
we call that a quarter rest, and it looks like this.
A quarter rest kind of looks like a zigzag with a hook on the bottom.
When you see one of these in music, it means don't play or sing in that beat.
There will be silence. So I put this quarter rest right here,
where we had a beat with no sound. And what did we hear in these 3 beats?

♫ Hot cross buns ♫

There was one word or one sound in every beat.
This is a picture of what we draw when there is a beat with one sound in it.
Has a black note head at the bottom and a stem, and it's called a quarter note.
A quarter note makes a steady sound like this: TA TA TA TA,
So when you see one of these, it means to make one sound that lasts for 1 beat.
And each one of these beats had one quarter note in it.
So, if we were to speak this song in a special rhythm language
that I call rhythm words, it would sound like this: TA TA TA REST.
And I whisper the word rest when we see a quarter rest,
or some of my students like to say SHH for the rest,
to remember to be silent during that beat. What rhythm should I draw in this row?
If you said the same rhythm, you're correct! We need three more quarter notes.
We also need a quarter rest: TA TA TA REST. Now we're ready for this row.
Here we have:

♫ One a penny, two a penny ♫

Let me sing that without words. What did you notice?
Did you notice that we had two faster sounds in every beat?
When we have two faster sounds in one beat, we draw it like this.
You'll notice now there are two note heads connected with a beam,
and we call this two eighth notes, and they make a sound like this: TI-TI TI-TI.
You'll notice they go twice as fast as quarter notes.
That's why we can fit two of them inside 1 beat.
And every single one of these beats had a pair of two eighth notes:
TI-TI TI-TI TI-TI TI-TI Can you point and sing that with me? Go:
TI-TI TI-TI TI-TI TI-TI Great, now there's just one row left.
What do you think we should draw down here in this row?

♫ Hot cross buns ♫ REST

Yeah, it's the same rhythm we've already drawn twice before: TA TA TA,
and then a quarter rest.

So now we've dictated the rhythm for "Hot Cross Buns."
This is how we would draw or dictate the rhythm.
Now let's try to sing the whole song using rhythm words.
We'll say TA whenever we see a quarter note,
we'll whisper REST whenever we see a rest,
and we'll say TI-TI for all the eighth note pairs.
Try singing and pointing with me in rhythm words. Ready, go:
TA TA TA REST
TA TA TA REST
TI-TI TI-TI TI-TI TI-TI
TA TA TA REST

Great job. Now, let's play a game. Some of the notes on the heartbeat mat
are going to magically disappear. Can you help me figure out the missing rhythms?
What rhythm should go here? If you said a quarter note, you're correct.
What rhythm belongs here? If you said a quarter rest, you're correct.
Remember, these are called quarter rests when we play nothing, in silence.
What rhythm should go here? If you said two eighth notes, you're correct.
What about down here and here? What belongs here? If you said a quarter note,
you're correct. And what about here? It's our quarter rest.

From our website, if you're a premium member,
you can download and print your own heartbeat mat and rhythm cards.
You can also download and print  a theory page like this, where you can practice
dictating the rhythm to "Hot Cross Buns" on paper with pencil.
Let me show you some tips for doing that.
So, grab a pencil and with your theory page printed out.
You're going to just draw the rhythm to "Hot Cross Buns".
I suggest for quarter notes just draw a stem straight down,
and then I suggest not making your note head too big.
Sometimes I see students make a huge note head,
and then it takes forever to fill it in.
Right, and that's kind of annoying. So again, go for a little note head,
a simple straight stem, and that note head goes off to the left of the stem.
Oh, that's plenty big. So you have TA TA TA, And then, for a quarter rest,
here's a trick: think of drawing a slanted Z shape.
See how that's kind of a zigzag or a Z that's kind of slanting down,
and then add a hook to the bottom, and that's a simple way to make a quarter rest.
A zigzag with a hook. So that gives us TA TA TA REST,
and then we do that again: TA TA TA REST.
Then we need our TI-TI's. For a TI-TI, draw two stems, connect them with a beam,
and then you can add two little note heads. Remember, note heads
are always filled in dark for quarter notes and pairs of eighth notes.
And I'll let you do the rest yourself at home, just following the same rhythms
we just dictated on the heartbeat mat.

Great job dictating your first rhythm and learning all about quarter notes,
eighth notes, and quarter rests. If you're not already a premium member,
I highly recommend you join, so you can download and print
your own heartbeat mat, rhythm cards, and theory pages
to get even more practice with these and the many other printable resources
we've created to support each lesson. Plus, being a premium member
helps support me and the entire Hoffman Academy team,
so we can keep making more lessons and games and learning resources for you.
If you're already a member, thank you for your support.
And to everyone, thanks for watching and learning with me,
and I'll see you next time!

Oh, what a lovely place for a rest.

[Everyone sighs]