This is a continuation of my rhythm unit of work for Year 2. We played the Superhero rhythms last week and that worked well and now we are on our Transformer rhythms. Next week is Classical Music Composer rhythms. The idea of this series is to have four groups of instruments and the children play them in a carousel going round the four corners of the room.
Every week we have the same groups so they get the chance to gel together over time. I am not a great fan of group work in general as it normally turns into group non-work but this is an opportunity for children to play a variety of rhythms on instruments in a structured manner. In this activity each group plays the same rhythm together and each rhythm is played independent from the others. Generally, what does not work is when group work becomes a free for all and children play rhythms with no sense of actual pulse in their own time. This approach fails because it is impossible to hear what you are playing with so many other sounds present in the room. This results with children understandably playing louder and louder so they can hear their part above the cacophony. And this is what leads to music teachers becoming deaf and losing their voice, upset children sticking their fingers in their ears and frustration all around.
For a class of 28 children you will need four sets of seven lollipop drums, seven tambourines, seven woodblocks and the other a mixture of cowbells/triangles and cymbals (the cowbells/triangles play “Optimus” and the cymbals play “Prime”. Like the Superhero rhythms, the activity takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. It’s a fun introduction to standard rhythmic notation and because we do a similar structured activity every week for six weeks, we get the chance to have time for repeated practice, which of course is the path to mastering anything competently.
Here are the four rhythms. Feel free to download and print out if you would like to try the activity.