Rhythm Duets on Chimes or Bells

Rhythm Duets for Private Lessons

Technically, you don’t need chimes to do this activity. You can just clap the rhythms or use a piano, but the kids will love chimes or bells if you have them.

What You Need:

  • Rhythm Flashcards (one measure per card)
  • Chimes, bells, a xylophone, or some other pitched instrument
    • Preferably, each note should be on a different bell or chime, rather than part of a fixed keyboard.


  • None

How to Play:

  • The student picks a bell. He draws a card and plays that rhythm on the bell counting aloud.
  • He draws two more cards and counts and lays them with the first to make a rhythm that is three measures long.
  • When he is confident with the rhythm, the teacher can choose a different bell and play along. (Choose a bell in the same chord.)
  • The student can then draw three cards for the teacher. Then they play a duet where the two rhythms are different. Many students have trouble holding onto their rhythm, so this is good for independence.
  • Finally, give the student three bells that form a triad. The student should then play the rhythm again, but move between the three bells in any order they choose. Because all the notes are in a chord, it will make a pretty melody.
    • If you are using a xylophone that cannot have the bells removed, you can still point out the right notes, but there is a much higher likelihood that the student will miss.


  • To make it easier, limit the rhythms to quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes (the first page in this set).
  • To make it harder, increase the number of measures or use harder rhythms. You can also try having them play two different rhythms at the same time, one with the left and one with the right.

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