Ring the Bell! (Rhythm Tip #2)

This video is a demonstration of one of the ways I teach students what to do with quarter rests. It is a known fact that beginning students (and unfortunately many students who have been taking piano lessons for years as I have experienced through transfer students) will often disregard the quarter rest altogether.

By inserting something at the place of the rests, in which in this case is ringing the bell, it teaches the students mentally, psychologically and physically that the rests are not “nothings” but “somethings.”

I was surprised that ringing the bell at the right time actually posed significant challenge to many students because it requires them to learn the motion of lifting their hand and striking the bell at the right moment. As you see in the video, I always demonstrate first and then have the student take the bell. The method works like a charm if you can reinforce it with patience. I use the same technique to help students with holding and counting for half-notes and whole notes.

I seriously don’t remember if the bell is something I thought of all on my own or an idea I stole from someone (as I like to give credit to those who share their ideas).