Teachers love the progression between year groups, as children are taught to read and write rhythmic notation from Year R and stave notation from Year 2 and 3. The colourful Rhythmajig characters are brought to children in high-quality digital images, which feature their note signs so that children can learn real names for notes right from the start. Each character has different actions which have the correct duration for their note name. For example, Minim is blu-ue, she has two heart beats on her dress as she lasts two beats, and she sli-ides around Ocarina Island - where the Rhythmajigs live!
Each Rhythmajig lesson follows the same structure: Week by week, children revise and build on the new vocabulary they have learned. Songs, whole-class instrument work, listening and appreciation, composition / creative activities and consolidation of learning all take place within a 45 minute lesson. The quick pace and familiar structure mean that children are quickly switched on to musical learning and they are kept interested through musical activities which apply their knowledge of the notation characters.
We realise that musically-led behaviour management might seem a wacky concept, but through singing instructions (for example, “please will you stand up” is a C major scale 5 note scale: C D E F G which can be sung or played) and collecting beats to fight evil baddies in the stories, children are encouraged to take a positive approach to behaviour which allows active engagement by all children.
Special needs, English as an additional language (EAL), emotional issues... these can provide real barriers to learning in music. Our subscribers have found that these children are often those who shine brightest in the music lesson - their imaginations are captured, they can access learning in a completely new way from other subjects and be included where often, attaining well is a challenge for them.
This allows for huge amounts of progress. Through meeting Legato Lion and Staccato Stickleback, Year R children can express differences in articulation in pieces of music they listen to. Year 2 children, meanwhile, can play and sing in different styles - dolce, giocoso and cantabile - by visiting different areas of Ocarock City. Year 6 children meet DJ Ana Crusis at the radio station, who guides them in composing whole songs on the stave, including a range of structures such as introduction, interlude and coda. Super Stave is the superhero who literally lends a hand with reading sheet music: he comes to the rescue with his rap and rhyme, which children learn and recall to help them read real music notation!
You can find our latest unit of work, including downloadable lesson plans and resources, on TES resources (Autumn 2).
Visit www.rhythmajig.co.uk to find out more.