This past Friday, in our Discover Music class, we talked about Beats, Rhythms, Percussion, and various instruments used to play them. We had a really fun time examining the different ways we can play percussion instruments and how they differ from one another.
Students took turns playing along with one another by shaking the shaker, croaking the wooden frog, and thumbing the mbira (thumb piano). Being able to experience the different ways of playing each instrument and also discussing how each instrument makes its sound, students see that percussion instruments can be simplistic in their design and functionality.
Boomwhackers also played a huge role in our class. We learned that they are percussion instruments, producing sound when they are struck. Previously, we discovered that each tube produces a different tone because the length of each tube is different and thus the amount of air vibrating through it is different. Our students were challenged to play through some well known tunes but with no indicated rhythm. It is amazing to see how difficult it can be to hear the most common melodies if the rhythm is not explicit.
Lastly, students made their very own tambourines! This was a challenging build but was fun for all and a huge success. The last activity of our class was to look at some rhythm notation and play our tambourines to quarter and eighth notes. Below are work sheets for those students in the class and anyone who is interested in learning some different rhythms. Give them a try and have fun!