We are currently studying rhythm with Year 2. I have made some simple rhythms using a theme of superheroes. I put them in the four corners of the room with a music stand in each corner and the pictures which you can find at the end of this blog post. One corner has lollipop drums, another has tambourines, another woodblocks and there are cymbals and triangles for “Hulk – smash”. Each group plays their rhythms four times, then it moves immediately to the next group that does the same and so on. I play a simple bass ostinato on the piano to keep them in time but this can be performed unaccompanied, to a drum beat or a very loud electronic metronome. After “Hulk smash” they move in a carousel to the next corner of the room until they have done all four rhythms using different instruments. The task takes about 15 minutes and is very noisy. I suggest you bring ear-plugs or headache tablets if you want a go at this activity! I am keeping the structure the same next week but with different rhythms – Transformers next time. I will keep the groups the same so the children get used to playing with one another. The week after we will go all classical and perform the names of some famous composers.
This is a good way to get children to perform together, keep in time, use a selection of instruments, read rhythmic notation, develop tinnitus and have some noisy fun. We just need a few more cymbals in the room as I am sure the Hulk would not put up with playing the triangle when he’s angry.
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