RHYTHM WORKSHOP * low tech * high impact * by Clark Chaffee
Helping thousands of students become excellent rhythm readers and performers for over 30 years, Rhythm Workshop was published in the 90s through J. Weston Walch and is now available exclusively at clarkchaffee.com. This is a low tech, high impact solution to the challenges leading to effective rhythm reading. Please download (Free!) the "Therapy for the Rhythmically Impaired" clinic slide show below for a look at how easy teaching comprehensive rhythm literacy can be.
RHYTHM WORKSHOP is a set of 24 rhythm duets, each with a comprehensive written preparation page. The series includes problem solving exercises and performance activities in 11 different time signatures. The series is divided into 4 levels - "values of one beat and longer", "dividing the beat into two parts", "dividing the beat into three parts". "dividing the beat into four parts". Levels 1, 2, and 4 include time signatures with 2, 4, and 8 on the bottom -- 2, 3, and 4 on top. Level 3 teaches concepts for 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8, with the dotted quarter receiving one beat throughout. Each level contains three pages of resource materials.
RHYTHM WORKSHOP has a 35+ year run as the most comprehensive way to teach students of any age to thoroughly understand rhythm notation and master basic rhythm performance skills.
Are you spending much of your rehearsal time fixing rhythm problems? If so, you are "remediating". Don't just "teach the rhythms". Teach comprehensive musicianship. By developing the knowledge that your students have, you can drastically reduce rehearsal needed time to demonstrate rhythm patters and to fix rhythm errors. If you are spending 50%+ of your rehearsal time on rhythm, that comes to about 80 hours per year! Invest 5-10 hours in comprehensive training early in the year and you will open up 70+ rehearsal hours per year!
RHYTHM WORKSHOP is appropriate for bands, orchestras, choirs, guitar ensembles and other groups that incorporate the reading of standard rhythm notation as part of the ensemble experience. Students must be old enough to read and understand fractions of 1/2, 1/3, 1/4. Students as young as early grade school have been successful with the entire series. The text and exercises are appropriate for young students through adults.
Each student demonstrates mastery of the knowledge and the skills needed for successful rhythm reading. Teachers can easily identify and correct concepts and skills that are causing roadblocks toward mastery. Upon successful completion, students have the knowledge necessary to rapidly interpret rhythm notation for most of the music they will ever encounter.
Over the course of the training, students learn to "speed read" rhythm notation. Students move from 'reading right to left and doing the math' to instant interpretation of beat-groups or entire bars in easier passages.
RHYTHM WORKSHOP duet preparation pages provide a systematic approach to solve rhythm challenges. All 24 preparation pages follow a uniform sequence of activities. This sequence can easily be brought into rehearsal for quicker remediation when needed. When your entire ensemble has had the training, you have a way to address and solve challenges that you know every student in the ensemble understands. The act of putting pencil to paper for written answers and drawing notes & rests profoundly improves the learning process. Students retain the information much better than they would just clicking a mouse.
Imagine adding 70 hours per year of effective rehearsal time to work on other important issues.
Imagine having students who practice more effectively because they thoroughly understand fundamental rhythm reading and performance concepts.
Imagine having students who practice more because they understand what they are doing and get better return on time invested in practice !
RHYTHM WORKSHOP is appropriate for systematic mastery of rhythm reading and performance for private studio teaching, too.
RHYTHM WORKSHOP is only available (download) at clarkchaffee.com. Included with purchase of the PDFs is permission for one teacher to make copies for his/her own students for one year. You may purchase each level individually or save $$ by purchasing the whole series at once.
For teacher and student mentoring with the author as well as clinic pricing and availability - send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published by J. Weston Walch, RHYTHM WORKSHOP is now for sale through the "Rhythm Workshop Sales" page of this website.
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ASTA & NAfME convention slide show PDF
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT "RHYTHM WORKSHOP" Alfred Music has recently published a workbook with the same name. The book described here obtained initial copyright in 1982, renewed in 1992 when J. Weston Walch first published it, and updated several times since the copyright was returned to the author.