Whole Rest Half Rest

Whole Rest Half Rest Poster

When I was a little girl learning piano, I always got things mixed up. I didn’t understand time signatures, notes were nice, but I never used them,  and I couldn’t keep whole and half rests straight. That was until I thought of a way to remember them. As it turns out, a lot of teachers use the same method to distinguish whole and half rests! I thought it was my own little thing.

I’ve always taught my students this way to remember the difference in whole and half rests, drawing little flowers and hats in their theory book. One day I decided to make a poster I could give to beginners or anyone who got them mixed up.  I had lots of fun making it. I drew everything myself for this poster, so  I can’t blame the clip art on anyone else!

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6 thoughts to “Whole and Half Rests

  • Liz

    This rule always helped me!

  • rebecca

    I memorized it by thinking of the black squares as balloons. A whole rest is heavy so it is like a water balloon sinking down and a half rest is light so it is like an air balloon floating away.

    Great job on the graphics!!

  • Edward Weiss

    What a wonderful idea. I’m going to have to share this with my students as well!


  • susanparadis

    Joanne, you’ve given me another idea. I’m so easy to distract…
    I’ve got to get back to the pre-reading cards. They just aren’t as much fun as the worksheets with cartoon characters!

  • Stephanie

    this is precious!!!

  • Joanne


    I use the same ‘game’ to help my students remember half and whole rests. Because of your little graphic, I got the idea of finding pictures that the kids could draw hats on. I have an old kindergarten music book and found two great pictures of families for the students to draw hats on. The other picture has some fairies with flowers, so the students can draw pots or whole rests for the flowers.

    Thanks for all your terrific ideas. I love to play your games with the students


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