Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Music
- Drum sticks, wooden rhythm sticks, wooden spoons, markers or pens
- Real drums or coffee cans with taped down lids
- Large durable plastic containers like ice cream or food tubs
- Plastic buckets or pails
- Recorded music of varying tempos
- Hand-eye coordination
Invite children to sit in a circle and give them each a drum. Pass out rhythm sticks or other objects to use as drumsticks. Children can beat their drums with their hands, too. Invite them to take a turn playing a beat on the drum.
Explain to children that they will be playing a drumming game where they will listen to the beat you play and repeat it. Invite them to keep repeating the beat until you stay "stop." Start with simple beats. Gradually introduce more complex ones. Encourage children to take turns creating drumbeats for the group to play.
Once they learn to follow the basic beats, introduce a more complex rhythm game. Invite children to follow your cue as you play a rhythm softly, then loudly. Tell them that when you hold the drum low it means they should play the beat softly. When you raise the drum above your head, they will play loudly. Practice a few times until children understand the concept.
Next, divide the group into two sections. Invite one group to play one beat. Then, introduce another beat to the other group. Suggest they play the two different beats simultaneously. Invite children to take turns changing the beat and volume while everyone follows their lead.
Remember: Drumming activities done in small groups can help children who exhibit impulsive behavior or need help listening and focusing.
Counting Steps: Ask parents to incorporate counting skills into everyday activities. Suggest they count the number of steps that are in a staircase, the number of steps it takes to get from the door to the corner, or to go from the bedroom to the bathroom.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: MOVEMENT
Drum Dances: Invite children to take turns drumming while others dance. Suggest they create different movements based on the drum rhythms.
David Gets His Drum by Panama Francis
Loudest, Fastest, Best Drummer in Kansas by Marguerite W. Davol
Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney