If you haven’t yet purchase Rhythm Menagerie, the most exciting things that’s happened to rhythm training for music students, please visit the Rhythm Menagerie (early level students) and the Rhythm Manipulations (advancing levels).

If you have purchased Rhythm Menagerie or Rhythm Manipulations, here are a few tips and tricks:

Rhythm Menagerie, Manipulations, Rhythm Cups Tips and Tricks

How do I download Rhythm Menagerie, Rhythm Manipulations, or Rhythm Cup Explorations?

RM Set Coil Bind CroppedAfter you purchase Rhythm Menagerie, click on the link to return to the website where you will see a link to download Rhythm Menagerie.  If you do not see this link or do not click to return, do not worry, your link will be sent to you via email.  Click on the link in the email and you should be prompted to save it to your computer in a place where you will remember.

If you have trouble with this process, simply place your cursor on the link and right click.  Choose “save as” and you can save it to a place on your computer.

What is the best way to use Rhythm Menagerie and Manipulations?

Let me first say, that you can use it in many ways with your students and I encourage you to find the best way for each student.  But, I’ll tell you how it has worked best in my studio.

Treat like you would any book, giving an assignment from it each week.  When you first introduce a new note value, give them only the introductory page of the corresponding Rhythm Menagerie Unit.  For example, the very first week that I introduce quarter and half notes, I give them the introductory page of Unit 1.  We clap and count the rhythm, then I show them the different activities they will do each day.  The next week, I give them the next page, Level 1 Single line rhythms.  Then, when they are ready for 2 handed rhythms, I give them that sheet.  The “Fun with Sounds” should follow.

When students complete the 1st level of the unit, they can advance to the next level, continuing until all 3 levels of the unit are completed.  The Menagerie Master of Rhythm certificate should then be awarded to the student.

I do not recommend that you give the students the entire 11 pages at one time. Giving them only 1 page at a time will build excitement for what is coming next.  If this is the student’s first time to use Rhythm Menagerie, I take them to my computer and and show them the 11 pages of the unit they are going to be working on.  This will build excitement and give them something to look forward to…especially the Fun with Sounds pages and the certificate.

What are some exciting things I can do with Rhythm Manipulations?

Well, I’m sure you know that teens and pre-teens love competition. So, even when when other games and activities don’t interest them, beating someone at something always seems to light a fire under them! You can motivate your students by entering our world-wide challenge to find the fastest and most precise rhythmic students! Watch this super short video to learn how to participate in our challenge:

You can also read this post for more details on how to enter your students in this informal contest.

Do you have any tips on printing?

Whatever you do, do not send the entire 12 MB file to your computer to print at once!  This resource is meant to be printed unit-by-unit or page-by-page.  A 12 MB file would overwhelm most home printers, so only send small print jobs to your computer at one time.

Also, you need to make sure that you have the most up-to-date version of Adobe Reader installed on your computer.  This is a free program and all you have to do is click on the “Download Now” button and follow the prompts.  The new version will be installed in place of your old version.

If you have tried to print and had any trouble, chances are that following these 2 tips will fix any issues you are having unless you have an individual printer problem.

You might also be interested in knowing that Office Depot (and sometimes Office Max will match the deal) has a special offer to MTNA members to give you copies for 2.5 cents and color copies for 22 cents each! That’s an amazing savings and can be very useful in printing these resources.

How do you recommend students store the pages?

I love using the GBC ProClick P50 Desktop Binding Machine  for Rhythm Menagerie, Rhythm Manipulations, and other camps and resources I make for my students. Here’s why:

  • You can zip and unzip the spine quickly and easily.  It’s so easy that the kids can do it and love doing it!
  • The binding doesn’t come “undone” like comb binding.
  • It looks very professional.

The only downside is that you can only punch holes in 6 sheets at a time, but it really doesn’t take long for me to punch hundreds of pages if you are watching television or listening to music at the same time. Here is a link to the binding that you will need with this product. It’s definitely a great investment!

25 count binding spines (85 sheet capacity)

25 count binding spines (45 sheet capacity)

Here’s a video about that binding system and then another blog post about it:

How do I display the Rhythm Cup Explorations pages?

The sky’s the limit when displaying it. Because it’s delivered to your email as a PDF, you can print it in any format you need it (bound or unbound). Here are just a few of the ways you can display it:

  • Bind it or just print several copies of the page that you need and put it in front of each student on the table.
  • Transfer it to your iPad and display it that way
  • Display it from your computer monitor
  • Print it on card stock and lean it up against something tall
  • Laminate it for even more durability
  • Use a document holder to hold it upright.

Take a look at this video and you can see that everyone has a slightly different way of displaying it:

Why do the Rhythm Menagerie pages use color ink?  Do I have to print in color?

One of the problems with rhythm drills is that they are visually boring!  Black notes on a white page is just plain blah!  Using pages with color really emphasizes that this is a unique resource and will be much more motivating for students to practice.

Every effort has been made to minimize the amount of color ink that you use.  You’ll notice that the pages use color that is speckled with white dots, significantly reducing the amount of ink you use.  If you wish to save more ink, you can choose to print in “greyscale” in the advanced menu of your printing dialogue box.  However, be aware that your students will love the color and it will feel less like a rhythm drill and more like a special activity if you do use color. Refer to your printer user manual if you have trouble finding this.

Remember to check out the post about Office Depot offering color copies for 22 cents!

Can I charge my students for this resource? 

You cannot sell the resource to your students (see the terms and conditions on page 2), but you can charge your students a “printing fee” for the resource.  Charging $5-7 per student per year will help cover your cost.

What about printing the certificates?

Definitely print these on card stock. You can find very cheap white card stock at Walmart.  If you do decide to print greyscale, be sure to print the certificates in color!    It’s also a great idea to take a picture of them posing with their certificate and then post their picture in your studio so other students can be motivated by them.

Can I use these in my studio group lessons?

Absolutely.  The Fun with Sounds pages in Rhythm Menagerie and the Rhythm Maneuvers pages in Rhythm Manipulations are particularly effective in groups and your students will probably think of their own ways to practice this fun activities with other students.  I highly encourage this individual thinking since more the student is involved in choosing their activity, the more interested they will be in the activity!

How do I order this resource?

Please order here: