production through performance

music technology curriculum


2.5 lesson plan // beat transcription


Students will transcribe, perform, and record a one measure drum pattern from a song of their choosing.


Beat Transcription→
Anatomy of a drum beat →
Practice strategies →


2.5 Performance rubric →
2.5 Project rubric →


  1. Practice finding the beat and subdivision of student selected songs.

  2. Play beats for the class on key drums and have them figure out the pattern one instrument at a time.

  3. Listen to student and teacher selected songs and transcribe the beat together isolating the steady beat, subdivision, and rhythm.


  1. Have the student select a song from the beat transcription page or from their own music collection.

  2. Identify the timestamp of desired beat.

  3. Find the shortest subdivision of the groove and transcribe the hihat, kick, and snare.

  4. Open a blank Soundtrap project and change the tempo to that of the selected song.

  5. Perform and record four measures of the transcribed groove.

  6. Trim the end of the clip to the beginning of measure five.


  • Assign an easy song.

  • Demonstrate the groove without the recording to more easily hear the hihat, kick, and snare.


  • Assign a more difficult song.

  • Have students transcribe more than one measure.

  • Have students quantize the track in front of the teacher.

  • Change the subdivision level to either 16th or 32nd note for teacher viewed quantize.