The Hungry Man's Guide to Musical Rhythm

If there's two things in this world I love enough to offer my firstborn, that would be food and then music.  In that order.

food music

A picture like the one above would have offended me a few months ago before I started expanding my culinary tastes beyond eating steak for every meal. There are as many types of food out there as there are sub-genres of dubstep.

Music attracts a subset of people who are oftentimes very right-brained; the type of folks who suck at math and other left-brained activities, unlike me who has mastered them both.  And unfortunately, a large part of learning music theory (especially rhythm) is mathematical.

music is math

If you think about it, music is entirely based off of the physics of vibrating strings, which explains why most musicians opt to completely ignore music theory and talk about how it holds back their creativity.  It's really because it's freaking hard to learn. Even worse, now that the majority of elementary and middle schools in the nation are cutting out music programs, kids are growing up with no clue about even a basic aspect of music, specifically rhythm.

Sure, they've been exposed to it just by hearing music, but they don't know how to think about it.  Have no fear, because Ledger Note is here to the rescue. Explaining the lengths of notes is a nightmare, and doubly so when you try to associate the lengths with the actual notes on paper!

The problem is solved with The Hungry Man's Guide to Musical Rhythm. This should be easy for you youngsters to catch on to since you all listen to that rap and hip-hop music. Just repeat the name of each food over and over as you read the notes listed below them and you'll start to understand the flags on each notes and the length associated with them.

food rhythm

And that's just beginner level!  Try this one on for size:

Biscuit Ketchup, Ketchup to Biscuit

Bam, now you're a beat-boxing maniac!  And now I'm hungry :(

Understanding rhythm by repeating these food-based patterns is fine, but theres still the challenge of getting kids to translate these rhythms over to an instrument. It's not as easy as it seems because kids have horrible hand-eye coordination unless its video game related, and then suddenly they're all 4th degree black belt wizards with white cloaks, which is to say they have the highest degree of skill.

Try to get them to pull any of this off on the drums or a brass instrument and they immediately devolve into cavemen happy to make the most horrendous noise possible as long as they get a reaction out of their fellow imbeciles. Getting them to stick it out when there's no reward and until they get the fine muscle movements internalized is quite the challenge.

A good way to get kids to start learning rhythm and musical notation is to get them to identify the rhythm of the items on each day's lunch menu. It'd be a short exercise every day to reinforce it in their heads. They'll never forget it throughout their entire lives, I bet.