A system and method for teaching music both visually and tactilely. In one embodiment, the invention comprises blocks shaped to resemble musical symbols used to compose music, including time signatures, notes, rests, and dots. Each of the blocks are relative in thickness such that for a given time signature, the correct rhythm for a given measure can be determined by laying one or more of the notes, rests and dots one over the other to see if their combined thickness is equal to that of a preselected time signature. The thickness of the block shaped to resemble the time signature is such that it only allows the correct number of blocks shaped as notes, rests or dots to be of equal thickness to thereby determine the correct rhythm. In addition, the correct rhythm can be determined by simply reading the shaped blocks as one would read music. The use of the shaped blocks having relative thicknesses allows a student to learn rhythm by trial and error and does not necessarily require that the student understand complex music theory. In addition, the blocks can be used by the student when clapping the correct rhythms. Other musical notation can be represented by blocks as well such as bar lines and slurs.