I had planned on creating a new video this week as usual, but unfortunately, one of my eustachian tubes has planned a coup against the rest of my ear. It’s decided to amplify all sounds (including my tinnitus) and add a high-pitched echo to everything I hear. It’s like having a deranged robot screaming in my ear at all times and it’s not very conducive to video or music-making. So, while that’s working itself out, I’ve decided to focus on art music for this week’s post. You can read more ideas for incorporating art music into your classroom HERE and HERE.

The tension of the accelerating tempo, a repeating main theme, and a variety of timbres makes In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg a hit with students. I’ll be writing more about tempo and timbre next week, but for now, let’s focus on rhythm.

This is an excellent piece for identifying and practicing barred eighth and quarter notes, as well as quarter rest. The main theme is repeated throughout, which gives students plenty of opportunity to decode the rhythm.

However, before you ask them to identify the rhythms, have them listen to the whole piece silently. You might ask them to fill out a SQUILT sheet (grab a free one from my store HERE) or you might ask them to find a comfy spot in the room to lay down and concentrate on the music with their eyes closed. By the end of the piece, students will have internalized the main theme, and will be more comfortable with decoding the rhythm.

Manipulatives are a fun way for students to decode rhythms and check/edit their work. Below, I’ve shown you two different ways to use manipulatives.




That’s it for today’s post, but be sure to check back in next week for some more ideas (and freebies) using In the Hall of the Mountain King.

6 Responses

  1. I suffer the same problems with my ears as you are. What are doing about it? Have you seen at ENT? I have seen three and had an operation on my ear also. My tinnitus is bad. Also I love your website I have been a teacher 36 years and am still learning thanks for your resources!

    1. Thank you! That really means a lot to me! I've scheduled an appointment with the ENT, and I'm hoping it's nothing serious, though it drives me absolutely crazy. I've always had some tinnitus, but nothing like this. Did your operation improve things for you?

    2. The operation helped with my eustachian tube problem but my tinnitus is still bad. I just had a CT scan of my sinuses and I hope they discover something in regards to my problems.

    3. I hope they do too! I'm glad they were able to help with your eustachian tube, hopefully they'll find a breakthrough during your CT scan 🙂