In this post, students explored takadimi through singing, playing, composing, inner hearing, partwork, reading, and writing. The beauty is that the whole time, the process felt like fun and games. This “child’s play” approach is what makes the learning process so special.
Now, students may be ready to learn the real name of four sixteenth notes on one beat. Keep reading to find a presentation test, presentation plan, and why I choose “takadimi” over other rhythm syllable systems.
A Presentation Test for Takadimi
When we look at data from the earlier preparation activities, combined with a presentation test, we get a good sense of whether or not that child is ready to move on to learning the real name for four sixteenth notes on one beat.
In the song, Paw Paw Patch, students will play the game and then determine if they can hear the rhythm “Chattanooga” in the song. A simple thumbs up or thumbs down is enough for this presentation test. (You can read more about assessment strategies in the music room here.)
If your data shows that students can aurally identify this rhythm in a song, you are ready to move on!
Here is a clip video from the Planning Binder where I explain how I present takadimi. You can find the full takadimi concept plan there, along with plenty of other teaching plans and strategies.
Watch the video to see my step-by-step process for teaching takadimi!
Rhythm Syllable Names (Why Takadimi?)
What rhythm syllable system should you use? The bottom line is, use something you’re comfortable with and your students will be successful.
That said, there are numerous rhythm syllable names used by music teachers, such as metric counting, the Kodaly rhythm syllables, Gordon syllables, and takadimi syllables.
Kodaly: tiri-tiri (some Kodaly teachers use tika-tika)
I choose “takadimi” for this grade-level. Here are three reasons why.
I love that the takadimi system gives a different syllable for each beat subdivision. I find this to be especially helpful as students develop their understanding of how a beat can be subdivided, and it helps students transfer their rhythmic work from syllables to metric counting later. From this perspective, if I didn’t use takadimi I would use Gordon’s Duta-deta
Simply put, I think this is easier to say. I find myself getting tongue-tied using the Gordon system, and if I struggle with it, how successful can I expect my young students to be? From this perspective, if I didn’t use takadimi I would use tika-tika.
One of the strengths of metric counting is that it assigns a meter grouping to each beat. However, in early grades my students don’t yet know all the meters we use in class, including 3/4 and 5/4. Counting metrically would involve information that is unnecessary and even confusing for this developmental level. In takadimi, each beat has a subdivision, but the measures themselves can be written without a meter. That makes it the winner for my classroom in early grades. I switch students to metric counting around 5th grade when I think they have enough background knowledge of beat, rhythm, and meter to justify it.
The Choice is Yours!
Any rhythm system - Gordon, Kodaly, Takadimi, or metric counting - gets to the same end result which is ultimately that students love, understand, and create music.
With a solid understanding of how four sixteenth notes sound, combined with the new knowledge of how they look, we are ready to move on to my favorite phase - the practice phase.