Workbook Level 1

Rhythm & Percussion with Sound Math™ Level 1


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This 2nd Edition workbook is an essential tool for all instrumentalists in understanding and mastering not just rhythm but musical feel and groove. There are detailed explanations of principles of movement, principles of groove, and how to rapidly develop a rhythmic vocabulary that’s transferable across all instruments and voice.




Rhythm is taught in a cyclical manner in Curtis Madigan’s system. Starting with the downbeat, you’ll repeat one beat only. Then, add the upbeat which occurs halfway around our cycle. You’ll continue on in this manner dividing the cycle evenly.

Here is an example of how we teach the building blocks of rhythm with ratios. It is so easy to visualize rhythm in this manner and teaching in this way along with standard notation helps immensely with music literacy. 


Teaching rhythms by using geometric shapes creates an easy to visualize approach. This allows the student to see the exact spatial difference between different types of rhythms and to visualize them in their head while they practice and perform.

There is a large focus on steadiness and straightness, how to hear it, why it’s the most core element of rhythm and how to practice it by focusing on the feeling of your movements while performing the exercises.


Pre-measure rhythms: There is an important distinction that occurs as we divide the quarter note. From here all subsequent divisions are called “subdivisions” and we can then focus on the one beat cycle, rather than an entire measure.

Focusing in this manner is like focusing on one word versus an entire sentence. It allows us to hone in and work on a deeper level, albeit much simpler. Counting and feeling the division of one beat alone creates a mastery that should precede working with entire measures.

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This book is the perfect guide to start your journey in music. It will also unlock the mystery of rhythm and simplify and strengthen your learning process. This book is the first in a method that works sequentially from absolute beginner through advanced levels of mastery.

Designed for our Rhythm & Percussion enrichment classes, this is the perfect workbook for any instrument and approach you’re taking in your musical path.

About the Author

_1DX0816 copyCurtis Madigan is a music education visionary and has created a revolutionary new music system. After graduating from Berklee College of Music and performing with notable artists, he wanted to share the knowledge he developed with aspiring musicians as well as professional musicians.


Earn Your Certificate

If you have completed the coursework in this book and would like to pass the proficiency test, you may contact Sound Formation in order to schedule a lesson or class to earn your Certificate.


Check out the Level II Workbook

This book is the second in an integrative system for mastering rhythm. This book teaches how to understand rhythm using sequences, operations, symmetry, exponents, factors and more.


Check out the Level III Workbook

This book is the third in an integrative system for mastering rhythm. This book teaches how to understand rhythm using binary numbers, reflections, rotations, symmetry, exponents and more.


Check Out the Level IV Workbook

This book is the fourth in an integrative system for mastering rhythm. This book teaches how to understand rhythm using binary numbers, multiplication cycles, rhythmic melodicism, exponents, and more.

Check Out the Level V Workbook

This book is the fifth in an integrative system for mastering rhythm. This book teaches how to understand the relationship of polyrhythms and hemiolas, syncopated hemiolas, displaced hemiolas, neighboring syncopations and more.

Free Ebook: 5 Simple Principles to Improve Your Groove

This Guide Will Teach You:

  • Exactly what you're missing in your rhythmic feel
  • Simple principles that deliver profound results
  • Why rhythm seems elusive and harder than it should be