Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rules as a Rhythm/Drumming Activity

So this year I decided to "do" my rules a little differently than in the past. I HATED those simple discussions/creations/posting of the "rules of the music room". AFter all, by the time the kids come to music, they've had rules in their classroom, the library, PE, computer, Spanish, art, Science Lab, and now music. Ick and Ugh! So... with the older students (grades 3 and 4), the first thing we did was a name activity and song, then reviewed rhythms (quarter, eighth, quarter rests) using Artie Almeida's Chair Rhythms- which is so fun! AND then I presented a powerpoint which I'm going to try to post tomorrow from school using some rules. The first page of the powerpoint had one rule with the corresponding rhythm written below it. So you'd see "Be respectful" and below it you'd see four quarter notes. The next page would have this again at the top and directly below "Be Respectful" and the rhythm notation would be the next rule (mine was "Follow the directions = titi titi ta ta) with the four beat rhythm and the third powerpoint page would add the next rule/rhythm and the fourth powerpoint would add the final rule/powerpoint. We practiced saying each one in rhythm and then assigned a body percussion to each; first page/rule/rhythm: Stomp Second: Pat Third: Clap Fourth: Snap Practice each then divide the class into 4 groups; one for each rule. Practice with body percussion, layer in parts, groups join after 4 beats of the previous rhythm/rule, add conducted dynamics, breaks, whatever.. my classes had a blast!! Transfer body percussion to UPP: stomp= African drums, Pat= woods, Clap= Metals, Snap= shakers. Layer in parts, add dynamics, cresc./dimin., breaks... etc. It was a BLAST and got the kids to remember the rules, play the rules, and make some interesting music together the VERY FIRST day! Not to mention that it took a BIG chunk of the class period which is always satisfying to end up with a "piece" to play at the end of class!

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