I always enjoy themed lessons, and with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, it’s the perfect time for some themed lesson activities!

Today I’m bring you a rhythm resource with five ideas how you can use it with your students plus some other activities I’ll be using in my lessons this week.

The file is 2 pages, size 8.5″x11″ in PDF format. You can use double side printing and the corresponding note value will be on the reverse side of the image and word.



Say and Clap

Teacher arranges cards and shows student(s). Teacher demonstrates and student echoes.

Swap! Have student become the teacher by creating a new rhythm and demonstrating. The teacher (or class) echoes.


Play on the Piano

Create 2 groups of rhythms and choose 2 chords (or 2 keys).

Loop between playing Rhythm 1 with Chord 1 and Rhythm 2 with Chord 2.




Swing It!

Try creating rhythms with SWING eighth notes. I admit, I sometimes forget to introduce students to the concept of swing rhythms outside of the content of their pieces.

Try it out and get those kiddos swingin’!


Relay Rhythms

In a group setting, have each student create a 4 beat rhythm pattern. Choose a chord progression and each student plays their rhythm on a  chord and keep looping the progression.

Example: Chord Progression I, V, vi, IV in the Key of G.

First, Student 1 plays first their rhythm on a G chord – Next, Student 2 plays their rhythm using a D chord, Student 3 on Em, Student 4 on C.

Turn on a backing track or improvise on your piano while your students loop through the chord progression multiple times.

Switch it up and change rhythms, progressions, and the key.




Create the different rhythm patterns of 4 beats each. Assign each rhythm to a part of the bucket drum (Rhythm 1=top, Rhythm 2=side, Rhythm 3=Rim.)

Get students comfortable with each rhythm, then set a groove while you randomly call out “Top!”, “Side!” or “Rim!”. Students respond by playing the corresponding rhythm on the given part of the bucket drum.

Keep the rhythms in front of students so you can point to the different rhythms as they change.




Don’t stop with these ideas, keep going! Make them your own.


Other St. Patrick’s Day ideas:

Last week, I printed off these Shamrock Note worksheets from Susan Paradis. Each student placed a token on the lowest note on the bass staff. Students raced to the top by taking turns rolling a die (green, of course!) and moving their token up the staff that number of notes/shamrocks. The first to reach the highest note on the treble staff wins!



I had students fill in the note names as moved up, so they would write in only however many spaces they moved each turn.

I liked this because I could keep an eye on each student and talk them through each section of notes. Sometimes, when I’ve had students complete a writing task all at once, it’s hard to catch when there’s a correction that needs to be made, so this was a great solution.




Star of the Week

This week my Piano Maestro Star of the Week will be getting a little something extra than the usual certificate and small prize. They will be receiving these festive glasses and a light up necklace.


St. Patrick’s Day Games – No Prep!

In addition to the Sham-Rockin’ Rhythms, my students will also be playing St. Patrick’s Day Games from the Busy Music Teacher from Piano with a Twist. Read about those in my blog series from last year titled “Pot of Gold Resources”.




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