It occurred to me that my third graders may not be ready to play multiple parts at once, as I only started in January and their last music teacher left early in the fall. I looked at the rhythms they composed for the word tambourine and was looking forward to playing them simultaneously ~ must assess first! So that is what I did! (Click HERE to see Lesson Builder 1)

As expected, not all of the students knew how to count out a rhythm and share a steady beat. I decided to focus in on this. We think that only by doing, kids will understand what it means to share a steady beat among a group of players, but do we ever REALLY explain it? This is what I wanted to cover today ~ I wanted to give them the theory behind the activity.

• I laid out a row of 8 red Note Knacks and we said all 8 as a steady beat (what is this called when one says the same color repeatedly? A steady beat! Correct!)

• How many reds equal a blue? 2! Correct!
• How many reds do I need to count in my head while I sing or play a blue? 2! Correct!

• This is what it looks like ~ demonstrate by saying color while beating 2 times
• Everyone practices

You can do this activity with every color, using Note Knacks to help students SEE how long or short to hold their notes

• Now let’s look at the rhythms you wrote last time and play on a Boomwhacker each using our new counting method

(NOTE: tap Boomwhacker on knee or hand and lift to show sustained sound)
• We practiced this for several times before we divided the group into 2 and had each play a different rhythm.
• It was a rough first go at it, but we will continue to practice!!!

I think we will stay on this concept for a while and answer the question, “How can we all play different parts, but still play together?”. I am looking forward to seeing how the students figure this out! Until next time!