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Rhythm Machine by Lynn Freeman Olson

Lynn Freeman Olson's, "Rhythm Machine," has become a student favorite in piano teaching repertoire. The quick, alternating hands, provide a busy, energizing pattern akin to the sound of drums. The contrasting B section presents a series of acrobatic legato fifths patterns that soar up and down the keyboard. This is the perfect "easier, sounds hard" piece for an enthusiastic student.

"Rhythm Machine" at a Glance

Level: Late Elementary

Key: D Minor

Tempo: Very Fast

Hand Span: Must be able to play blocked triads in first inversion.


-It can be challenging for some students to change rhythm from quarter notes to eighth notes in (mm. 1-2). Preliminary exercises that involve tapping this rhythm with alternating hands may help strengthen rhythmic precision.

-Hand-over-hand crossings in the B section can be tricky but are visually easy-to-recognize patterns.

-The first inversion triads in mm. 9-16 may be a new experience for some elementary students. These triads sometimes skip or jump, rather than step. Practicing with a simplified left hand may help create an intermediary step that will expedite the mastery of these RH chords.

Available on Amazon as a solo sheet and in the Lynn Freeman Olson Signature Collection, Volume 2

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