ALEX Lesson Plan


Rhythm and Solfege Antics!

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Maria Hanvy
Organization:University of Montevallo
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 29353


Rhythm and Solfege Antics!


An introductory lesson to the Zoltan Kodaly method of teaching Rhythm and Sight Singing (Solfege). The lesson includes reading the rhythm tree and understanding its meaning- and then applying it to written notation and patterns made up by the instructor or students.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
AED (6-8) Music
3. Sight-read rhythm patterns commonly found in middle-level literature.
AED (6-8) Music
4. Sight-read eight-beat, stepwise, and unison melodic patterns.

Local/National Standards:

MENC National Standards of Music Education
1.Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
5.Reading and notating music.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

By the end of the lesson, the student will be able to demonstrate how to read patterns of both rhythmic and melodic content in a major scale using solfege and hand signs as well as read simple rhythmic patterns using the Kodaly rhythm method of ta's and ti-ti's.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Rhythm Tree- or materials to make one- construction paper and poster board- Marker, keyboard (piano or electronic), scissors, glue stick, projection screen, laptop

Technology Resources Needed:

Laptop and projection screen (demonstration), Electronic Music Keyboard (if no real piano is available) A blog will also be incorporated in the lesson- the students will each blog a small paragraph about their personal progress/self assessment.  Teachers can create a class blog for free at or at


Students must understand how to keep a steady beat and understand melodic intervals.


Prior to lesson: Set up a blog for the class and have the students join- give a brief tutorial on how to use the blog/make edits and changes and describe their self assessment procedures.

Step 1 Clap rhythmic patterns and have class repeat ("be my echo"). The patterns being clapped should not be more than quarter, eighth, half and whole notes- if the lesson is stretched into a unit, the music teacher should feel free to introduce the sixteenth note and dotted rhythms.

Step 2 Introduce the Rhythm Tree to the class using Kodaly Method and then have class sight-read the rhythmic patterns on the board. Make clear that the rhythm tree is much like the fraction tree in Math. There are many similarities. Also, compare the study of music to these fractions in explaining how the tree is split up and how the notation works.

Step 3 Introduce the Sight-Reading Kodaly Do Re Me Fa So.. Major scale and hand signs have the students move hand up and down accordingly. Then move on to simple three pitch patterns you have written on the board and show the class using your hand. For example you may write on the board (mi, so do) or you may have them audiate the hand signs you show them. Have students who show understanding of the lesson come and imitate you as the teacher (they love this chance to play teacher!)

Step 4 Combine Solfege and Rhythm patterns through constructed rhythm and pitches on the board.

Step 5 Have students pair up in groups and figure out the solfege and Kodaly syllables for a simple song like, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or "Row Row Row Your Boat." One group could do the rhythm, one group could do the melody- etc... different ways of pairing the students


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Assessment Strategies

Visual assessment during the 15 minute period of warm-ups and noticeable aural changes in singing using the Kodaly method as patterns are sung and accomplished. Can we move on to the next, more difficult pattern or do we need to review and have more practice on the next? (Informal Assessment)


More advanced students or those that quickly comprehend can move on to the "teacher" or "instructor" position- they can make up patterns to test the class.


This lesson will be repeated several times- in various arenas throughout the school year, so I do not see the need for remediation.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.