Issue 75: And another Pulse and Rhythm activity!

I’ve just come back from helping out at a very enjoyable Key Stage 1 music workshop. It was even more enjoyable, because my colleague did all the planning and I just had to fall in with her outline schedule and add my own brand of chaos along the way.

And it was made all the more worth-while for me because along the way I learned a couple of new activities to use in future lessons.

This one is a simple and fun way to switch between pulse and rhythm:

Pick a simple song: we used the Penguin Song, which I have found in Singing Sherlock book 1, and Sarah Watts “Red Hot Chants and Games” . You will also find hundreds of versions on the internet.

After the first verse, say “Penguins – attention! Penguins – begin! Right arm (repeat the song, raising and lowering right arm in time to the pulse)

Next verse, do “Right Arm, Left Arm” in time; next verse is “Right Arm, Left Arm, Right Leg”, in subsequent verses add Left Leg, Nod-your-head, Stick-out-you-tongue. After the final verse, go “Penguins – attention! Penguins – Sit Down!”

Once the song is well known, sing it while tapping the beat, and sing it while tapping the rhythm. Then (here’s the “activity” bit, switch between beat and rhythm as follows:

Choose a leader (yourself, to begin with, but later it can be a child). While singing, watch the leader. If their hands are on their head, tap the beat, and if their hands are in their lap, or on their knees, tap the rhythm. watch carefully to make sure you follow the leader’s signals.

Easy peasy, no resources necessary, and it’s a jolly little song as well.


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