Why I love and hate drumming – a survival guide

Why I love and hate drumming – a survival guide

So I have a confession to make….   I REALLY hate love drumming!  I haven’t done as much as I like in recent years because my school has just a few hand drums and even fewer “world” drums.  I use what we have often, but I’d like to do more, and am considering working up to a drum circle particularly in 5th grade.   Just last week Sonic Limeades for Learning funded my world drum project on donorschoose.org so more are on the way. Now that I am about to increase my drum collection, I’ve got drumming on my mind because I’m hoping to be able to do some drumming activities this spring AND it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if I could find ways to do a better job of facilitating lessons using unpitched percussion because based on my love/hate relationship with drums I have room for growth. I’m hoping that writing this blog post will help me remember what strategies I want to use to ensure that I don’t end up hating drumming before I’m finished.   Here are some questions I am asking myself at this point; Not everyone needs a drum or do they? This may seem obvious as more drums mean more sound…. but on the other hand, fewer drums might mean perpetual turns and depending on the class, getting the entire class through the process in fewer turns might work in my favor. What are the students who are not playing a drum supposed to do? I love it when students can play a game that goes with the drumming accompaniment.  However, the type of game and the intended outcome is...
Free Download! – Rhythm Composition Cards

Free Download! – Rhythm Composition Cards

Last year I made some of these rhythm cards to use as manipulatives for a meter unit. Now, a year later I have expanded the collection and use them constantly for all sorts of assignments. My favorite thing to is to give my students combinations of these cards including the new rhythm we are learning that day. First students work with a partner to create a chart of the rhythms they already know.  This chart reinforces the relationships between the various notes and gives them a chance for a quick review before moving on to new material.  This is also a great way for me to quickly assess where we are. I then give my students the new rhythms and ask them to compose measures containing the new material. I typically provide enough cards for them to compose 4 measures of rhythm.  As the measures are completed, the students are asked to perform the rhythms they have composed.  Everyone then travels from group to group in a sort of “gallery walk”.  The students perform the rhythms as composed by their peers. Once we have read and performed each composition I ask the students to go back and choose their two favorite measures.  They share their two favorites with a neighboring group and work together to perform the new combination. Finally, the students are asked to choose their favorite measure and then ALL of the rhythms are set out so that we have a new class composition. If you want to print them, I recommend using a variety of card stock.  If you laminate them they will last for a...

Rhythm Karate – FREE Download!

Last year around this time of year I looked up at the clock and noticed that my 2nd graders had finished our entire lesson, AND played several of my best games AND we STILL  had 10 minutes left!!!!  …  I’ll admit that I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired, but I wanted to try my best to review known concepts because being May, I knew that I would only see my kiddos a couple more times…. AND I wanted to have fun because once again, being May I knew that nothing less than fun would be motivational for my students. So across the room I spied my set of handy dandy color coordinated rhythm flashcards.  At this school I have the ones created by Denise Gange.  They can be purchased HERE! I looked at the clock one more time and I said, “Let’s play Rhythm Karate!” Even as I said it, I was remembering the fantastic motivation that happens with Music K-8 Recorder Karate and doing some quick thinking about how to turn my borrowed idea into a fun whole group review of rhythm on the fly….  and what about belts?  I didn’t have any!  YIKES!  I asked my students to look the first  card over and figure out how they would read it, play it and say it….  Then the entire class played and said the first card…. and the second…. until we reached the end of the first color…   If the performance was sloppy, we repeated it and cleaned it up….   If a rhythm was unfamiliar, I would pause and ask questions until the students could teach...
Class Notes: Rests: Sometimes Music is Silence

Class Notes: Rests: Sometimes Music is Silence

Look what I found!  This video series is really nice and well done!  – Thanks Classical MPR for such great work!  I plan on sharing these videos with my 5th graders as we gear up to review everything for so they will be ready for Jr. High!  🙂 Please follow and like us:0 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...
FREE Downloadable Rhythm Cards

FREE Downloadable Rhythm Cards

Last year I made some of these rhythm cards to use as manipulatives for a meter unit. Now, a year later I have expanded the collection and use them constantly for all sorts of assignments. My favorite thing to is to give my students combinations of these cards including the new rhythm we are learning that day. First students work with a partner to create a chart of the rhythms they already know.  This chart reinforces the relationships between the various notes and gives them a chance for a quick review before moving on to new material.  This is also a great way for me to quickly assess where we are. I then give my students the new rhythms and ask them to compose measures containing the new material. I typically provide enough cards for them to compose 4 measures of rhythm.  As the measures are completed, the students are asked to perform the rhythms they have composed.  Everyone then travels from group to group in a sort of “gallery walk”.  The students perform the rhythms as composed by their peers. Once we have read and performed each composition I ask the students to go back and choose their two favorite measures.  They share their two favorites with a neighboring group and work together to perform the new combination. Finally, the students are asked to choose their favorite measure and then ALL of the rhythms are set out so that we have a new class composition. If you want to print them, I recommend using a variety of card stock.  If you laminate them they will last for a...
Musical Math – Part 3 – Free Downloads

Musical Math – Part 3 – Free Downloads

Everyone is always looking for ways to keep students moving forward in their understanding and when we have the right tools in hand we can do just that. This activity made me AND my math coach very happy. If you are in a teaching situation where you are constantly having to prove and justify how you support the tests, this just might be the activity you are looking for because it does a good job of providing practice for musical and math skills. If you decide to download this activity, AND if you use it, please let me know how it goes, I’d love to hear back from you. Musical Math Part 3 Please follow and like us:0 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...
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