In music, there are many traditional ideas or concepts that have been taught and passed down through the years that are only “half-true”. This series of ideas, developed by H.E. Nutt, co-founder of VanderCook College of Music, seeks to make you think of improved ways of teaching the student. His concept was that “why do we teach “half-truths”, only confusing the student and interfering with their progress?” If we teach the student exactly what the concept means from the beginning, we will eliminate the long term confusion and so when the student progresses, they will do so without questioning the validity of what was taught in the first place.
This series can be “controversial”, so proceed with caution…
Series Three FOOT TAP
Many students use the down-up motion of the toe in measuring the length of notes. When tapping the foot in 4/4 time four beat rhythm, it is customary to say “down- up” for a quarter note and to indicate this with arrows thus….
This is a HALF TRUTH!… The tone does NOT start until the toe actually STRIKES the floor. In other words, the tone starts at the END of the “down” motion… not on the way down.
The first half of the quarter note starts when the toe strikes the floor and carries to the TOP of the “up” motion. The second half begins at the TOP of the “up” motion and ends when the toe again strikes the floor.
For a Quarter Note starting on the SECOND HALF of the beat (after an eighth note or rest) the foot motion IS DOWN-UP… study the following diagram.
For a quarter note starts on the “&” of 1 and ends when we say the “&” of 2. To give this quarter note ONE BEAT we must count “& 2 &”.