Activity Introduction

beats1-heroQuick summary: This lesson is designed for a flipped classroom, where students learn new content by watching a video in their own time. This strategy provides the opportunity for students to build their knowledge, attitudes and values by themselves, thereby freeing up class time for hands-on work. By watching this video students start to visualise different rhythms and reflect on their own ways of constructing rhythm.

Fanfare logoThis lesson is part of the Fanfare Competition unit. The unit is designed for students to build their aural and technical skills while exploring music as an art form through listening, composing and performing. Students are encouraged to apply their learning by planning and organising a composition for the Fanfare Competition.

The competition encourages young people aged 12‐21 years to write a new work to be recorded by the Australian Youth Orchestra and played in venues across Australia to replace the ‘cue bells’ for audiences to take their seats. It is a wonderful way to showcase young artists and musicians, and encourage creativity in young people.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand different ways of visualising rhythm.
  • Students recognise different types of rhythm from around the world.
  • Students reflect on their own music making and rhythm construction.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 & 8 Music

  • Analyse composers’ use of the elements of music and stylistic features when listening to and interpreting music (ACAMUR097)

Year 9 & 10 Music

  • Evaluate a range of music and compositions to inform and refine their own compositions and performances (ACAMUR104)

Syllabus Outcomes: MUS5.7, MUS5.8, MUS5.9, MUS5.10, MUS4.7, MUS4.8, MUS4.10.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Intercultural understanding.

Relevant parts of Year 7 and 8 achievement standards: Students identify and analyse how the elements of music are used in different styles and apply this knowledge in their performances and compositions.

Relevant parts of Year 9 and 10 achievement standards: Students analyse different scores and performances aurally and visually. They evaluate the use of elements of music and defining characteristics from different musical styles. 

Topic: Fanfare Competition. 

Unit of work: Artology Fanfare Competition.

Time needed: 30 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – allow students to explore the topic independently.

Resources required: Internet, laptops and earphones, Student Worksheet. Optional: Fanfare Competition DIY Student Toolkit.

Key words: fanfare, rhythm, visualise, genres, world music.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

beats2-heroTeacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students recognise and explore different ways of visualising rhythm.
  • Students recognise different types of rhythm from around the world.
  • Students reflect on their own music making and rhythm construction.

Success criteria: 

  • Students can describe rhythm. 


The Flipped Lesson

This lesson provides the opportunity for students to explore/build their current knowledge, attitudes and values about the different ways of visualising rhythm. Students will also begin to recognise the ways they personally visualise rhythm. While working independently, students are to view the following video and complete the questions on the Student Worksheet.

This visual thinking tool can be useful in examining how and why student thinking has changed based on learning specific content information. It also helps to develop their reasoning abilities and to recognise cause and effect relationships.

Step 1. Before students watch the clip below, ask the

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How do you see rhythm?

Before watching this clip, describe what method you use for visualising music and why:

Once complete, watch the following clip and answer the questions below.

A different way to visualize rhythm - John Varney (

Firstly, complete the following table:

DESCRIBE what you saw in this clip in 50 words or less:

How are the ideas and information presented in this clip CONNECTED to what you already knew?

What new ideas did you get that EXTENDED or pushed your thinking in new directions?

What is still CHALLENGING or confusing for you to get your mind around?

Dig a bit deeper into this topic with these questions:

How does method help you think about the similarities and difference in music around the world? 

Do you think this rhythm wheel could replace standard notation? Why or why not? 

What other modern tools and technologies can you think of that are replacing tra

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