The poison rhythm game is commonly done in group settings, but here is an adaptation for a private lesson.
What You Need:
- Writing utensil
- Drums or other percussion instruments (optional)
How to Play:
- Write out one measure of rhythm in 4/4 time and place it where both players can see it. This is the poison rhythm.
- The teacher plays a measure in 4/4 time (not the poison rhythm). If you’re not using instruments, just clap the rhythm. The student should listen carefully and play or clap it back.
- Repeat the call and response rhythms as many times as you like.
- At some point, the teacher should play the poison rhythm. The student should NOT play back the poison rhythm. If they stop and do nothing, they have earned a point. If they are not paying attention and do play it back, the teacher earns a point.
- Write a new poison rhythm and go again. The game ends whenever you run out of time.
- To make it easier, use only basic rhythms, count out loud, and give the student multiple chances to play back each rhythm.
- To make it harder, use more complicated rhythms or make each rhythm two measures long.
- To make it more creative, switch roles so that the student is generating all the rhythms.