A big hello to everyone and welcome back,
Can you believe it is August already???? This year has really flown and many of my Tapatak Oz clients are well and truly flying through their year with concerts, exams, various performances and many competitions / eisteddfods too.
So firstly – well done to all! I truly know from my many years in the classroom the huge effort that all these events take!
And now – onto some interesting teaching tips when it comes to getting your rhythmic message across to your students!
In recent times I have been taking a few classes myself, as a student and just loving it – but it has raised the question of counting for me, as many of the teachers I have been in class with do not actually count when teaching.
Now – I find that this is quite common in tap, as many tappers will teach the rhythm by vocalising the rhythm as opposed to laying down the counts.
As in, they might say: ” doo de dah dah do dah, da -da, da da da”
Which could be counted as ” 1 a 2 a 3a miss 4, a5 – 6 7 8 ”
For me I find both options of equal value, and always offer both to my classes as children learn differently and what works for one may not be effective for another! Sometimes counting the rhythm can be confusing to a student – so having this ” rhythmic verbalisation” of the rhythm is really effective and brings the rhythm to life.
However – I always find setting the rhythm with the actual counts incredibly effective, as it really gives the rhythm an anchor point! For instance, in this particular rhythm – knowing that the count of 4 is the missed beat is very handy indeed and can really help the step to come back in on ” a5 ”
Of course – having your students know that the combination – or this part thereof – starts cleanly on the count of 1 is also invaluable!
So my advice today would be to do both!
Always give your rhythm a great rhythmic vocalisation ” doo be, doo be, da da”
As well as the strategic counting option too ” 1 a, 2 a, 3 a, miss 4″
This way you can be guaranteed of getting through to the vast majority of students in your class.
So – try it out and see if it assists your students in picking up the rhythms – especially those rhythms that have syncopation and / or missed beats. The counts really do help anchor the rhythm I find and keep it all flowing along nicely!
Love Tap and Pass It On!
And if you are looking for a structured set of lessons for all levels – check out the Tapatak Oz Syllabus online at: www.tapatak-oz.com
All our programmes are instantly downloadable online and accessible to all! From 5yrs to Pre Professional – all levels come with a video file, music file and PDF written manual for easy class use. And it’s all explained in great detail from the front and back for easy ” on site ” learning with your tap staff – just like you are in a class with me.
AND – all clients have FREE ACCESS to all our updates and teaching tips on the website!