Introducing The Quarter Rest

Rests on printed scores are often ignored – especially by beginning piano students. I have my own ideas about the reasons why. At the top of this list is the fact that in today’s fast paced society silence is so rare that it has become a foreign concept to many. For others it is something to be feared and avoided at all costs! Musicians, however, know the value of a well placed rest. The well placed rest can convey a range of emotions and create magical moments in the music.

Here’s a quick way I introduced the quarter rest with my beginners last week.

Starting from a familiar place – quarter notes drawn on foam flash cards. (You can purchase foam paper at the dollar store or a local craft store.) The student can play or stomp the rhythm. Younger kids may even like to do the Dinosaur Stomp!

Here comes the quarter rest silencing the last beat!

What happens to the sound if the quarter rest moves to a different spot?

Finally, what happens if we get rid of the quarter rest?

2 thoughts on “Introducing The Quarter Rest

  1. Brian says:

    Hi Dana, love your blog! I’m a piano teacher in southern california and all of your ideas are super helpful! A lot of my students have issues with understanding how rests work. I like your idea of sequentially moving the rest from the end to the beginning. So they can see specifically how it works.


    • fame1444 says:

      Hi Brian! I LOVE the weather in Southern Cal! Thanks for stopping by. Another great way to demonstrate rests is with the children’s song BINGO where each time you leave out a letter.


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