In this activity, you will learn to play different sets of rhythms using the syllables “Ta” and Ti” as your guide.

Learning Objectives

When analyzing selected music, read and perform rhythmic patterns using iconic or standard notation.


In this rhythmic exercise, students will practice and learn rhythmic basics using Ta (quarter note -♩) and Ti (eighth note – ♪). First, practice playing the rings on the red and green dots page. Then transition to the following pages where you can play more Ta and Ti rhythms using red and green stems, top to bottom, left to right. If you want to practice more slowly, play one row at a time.

Required Materials

  1. The Specdrums Music app downloaded onto an iOS or Android device
  2. At least one Specdrums Ring – Note: in a classroom, your students can work in groups or can take turns playing these individually
  3. Dots and Stems Printout –  Access here: Ta-Ti Dots and Stems
  4. Scissors and tape for Challenge section


First, connect your desired number of rings.

Next, choose your percussion. Press the instrument icon in the top right side of the app to access Sound Packs. We suggest starting with Jazz Kit or Rock Kit, but feel free to explore other percussion options. You do not need to modify any sounds or colors. If you are dissatisfied with the default red and green sound bubbles of your chosen kit, choose and program your desired sounds.

Third, begin playing on the large red and green bubbles on the first page. Remember, two Ti’s are the equivalent of one Ta beat.

Last, play through the pages of red and green stems using the two dots at the bottom of every page.

Questions to consider:

After going through this exercise, how do you differentiate between 4/4 time and 3/4 time?

How would you describe the tempo at which you’re playing? Is it fast, slow, or in-between?

How would you describe the difference between the Ta beats and the Ti beats?



Now, turn all of the pages you’ve just played upside down (including the first page with the bigger dots). Ti will still be green and Ta will still be red. Cut along the perforated line of each page and tape the portion you cut out at the bottom of the page so that the green Ti dot is on the left and the red Ta dot is on the right. While your pages are upside down, play the rhythms left to right, top to bottom. How is it different from what you played through the first time around?

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