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Lesson 5

Grab your gear and start with a Barre Affect Method Class

Musicality - The heart “BEAT” behind the rhythm of your class

Music is important in a Barre Affect Method class. Music helps to keep our students motivated, engaged and entertained. It also helps the instructor count repetitions without having to keep track of every single one, allowing the teacher to focus on their students.


In Barre, we exclusively use music that has 130 or 135 beats per minute (BPM). This way, our class has a quick pace, and movements are performed at the same speed by each teacher – no matter what playlist is used. You can use Spotify or Apple Music, just search for 130 or 135 BPM. Any music that has this specific beats per minute will work. Get creative, choose your fav tunes and make your own playlist!

Some of my favorite Playlists:

This type of music has been developed specifically for fitness classes and follows a strict format. 

Very simply put:

  • There are 8 counts to a set or phrase 

  • A set or phrase lasts around 15 seconds

  • Within the set or phrase there are subtle cues in the music that inform the teacher where they are in the set

  • Often lyrics start on the first count. There is usually a drum roll, beat drop, sound effect, shout, or some other sound that does not appear anywhere else in the set. The music will give a feeling of anticipation, leading up to the next section.

Learning to automatically count music is something that can prove to be very difficult for instructors, but take heart! Almost all pop music in western culture follows this format so it’s probably something that you have a feeling for even if you aren’t aware of it.


Some people are naturally very inclined this way. They will be the students in the class that are always on perfect beat and switch movements at the end of a set without prompting.  There are other students who will lose their timing as soon as they don’t have a visual aid, or are unable to keep timing even if they do have something to look at.

Whether you are in the former or the latter group, as the teacher, you have to be the one in control and get everyone back on track. This ability can only be perfected through practice! 

Practice counting beats in your car, while you are doing any activity. Add music and count until it becomes second nature to you, and you can figure out where you are, even if you are plopped down into the middle of a set.

If you do lose your place, there are lots of ways to get back on track so it's seamless without interrupting your class.

  • Cutting a set short

  • Longer set (more reps)

Yes, some songs can be harder to count so get to know your music before you teach.

 Headphones Floating

Musicality Exercises


Find the single count and double count


Movement with single & double count


Switch between two movements


Transition count down


Keep count while encouraging/cueing

 Headphones Floating

Compound Movements & Counting


2 count movements


4 count movements 


8 count movements


16 count movements

Full Disclosure: Being able to count music while cueing and leading a class is important to gain your Barre certification, so PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE until it feels close to effortless.

Test Questions

Lesson 5 Wrap up

1. How many counts are in each set/phrase?

2. How many seconds is each set/phrase?

3. If you lose count, name two ways to get back on count.

4. How many BPM do we use in Barre Affect Method?

5. What is a compound movement?

6. What count do we use the most - single or double?

7. How many sets or phrases of music do we use for one movement?

8. Do we use single or double count for pulses?

9. How can we effortlessly transition from one movement to the next?

10. What does music help the teacher do?

Submit Your Answers Here

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