I was taught to tap my foot when counting the notes, so an 8th note would become a tap to the ground, and a 4th note goes to the ground and back again. However I seem to get confused when encountering a group of complex notes. For instance I will lose my rhythm when playing an 8th (quaver) and a half note followed by two sixteenth notes (semiquaver), as my foot would need to go down to the ground then back to half it's original position then up and back at the middle. If I play on my own I will eventually master it by setting the tempo gradually, however I recently joined an orchestra and sometimes it's hard to be in sync with all the other guys.
I have also found that if I am tapping my hands or playing and become aware of myself counting the rhythm I will almost immediately make a mistake.
Some have told me to learn the melody and then intuitively play it, however my teacher has told me it is a bad practice.
I am an intermediate player
Is there a better way to count rhythm?