An important skill to learn in music is to start, sing or play, and stop TOGETHER as a group. This isn’t
always easy, as there is always those one or two singers/ players who aren’t watching us and come in late or keep playing when we have ended the piece! My hope is to conquer this right off the bat in Kindergarten. They are young! They are eager! We can capitalize on this!! So, I adapted a fabulous lesson from Mary Knysh’s Book Innovative Drum Circles (pg. 10) and put a Note Knacks twist on it! Read below and let the fun begin!
To summarize Mary’s lesson, she has the students move their hands and make a silly sound. When she calls out the word “stop”, the kids stop moving their hands and making their sounds. (She also adds some great extensions!)

Enter Note Knacks:

  • For the first lesson, I did the lesson as Mary wrote it.
  • For today, I first dove into lesson 3 of the Note Knacks lesson plans
    * Overview ~ show kids 1 gray, 1 blue, 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 terra cotta.
    * Have kids put them in order from longest to shortest.
    * “If each block had sound, which one would have the longest sound?” Drag finger across block and make a sound while moving finger. Stop when your finger reaches the end. (For a set of the Note Knacks lesson plans and 1 student set click HERE!)
  • After we practiced for a bit, we reviewed Mary’s lesson from last week.
  • THEN I put these lessons together!
    * Choose a Note Knack and have kids move their hands and say their silly sound while you drag your finger across the chosen Note Knack. The goal is for them to start together, sustain together and end together. They think this is hilarious and really pay attention to stop at the same time ~ especially when you choose the eighth note and sixteenth note blocks!!
    * Have them do this with every block.

This is where we ended today. Next week, I am excited to have the kids choose the blocks and for them to lead the group. I love doing this with kids, as it gives them a chance to build their leadership skills and encourages a sense of community.

Let us know in the comments below what leadership roles you give your students!