Wednesday, February 8, 2012
One of my courses during my undergrad was Elementary Music Education. We learned a lot of theory for teaching music to younger children, but we also were presented with a lot of great practical and creative ideas for music education. One of the ideas that I have used a lot, both in my days of working at a preschool and in my own home, is rhythm sticks. Rhythm sticks are a simple percussion instrument and can be created by using any stick-like item--dowel rods, wooden spoons, pencils, and skewers might all serve as rhythm sticks! Besides teaching the musical concept of rhythm (which I describe to kids as "the heartbeat of music"), playing with rhythm sticks can also support other developmental objectives, such as gross and fine movement, aural-motor coordination, following directions, hand-eye control, and creative exploration.
Most importantly, they are fun! Today, Jadon enjoyed doing several of his favorite rhythm stick games, and we wanted to share them with you.
The first one, we call "My Grandfather's Clock." It goes like this:
My grandfather's clock goes tick, tock, tick, tock.
My mother's wall clock goes tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick.
My little wrist watch goes tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-STOP!
The second one, "Scat the Cat," is a great one for creativity. The "chorus" goes like this:
I'm Scat the cat. I'm sassy and fat.
I change my colors just like that.
After clicking along to the rhythm of this rhyme, I allow the child to choose a color that Scat might like. Then I say something like..."Scat turned ORANGE! He was as orange as..." Then we brainstorm together about many things that are the selected color. After we're running out of ideas for that color. I ask the child how long Scat stayed that color. Usually, the child starts with a small number, but, later in the game, the numbers tend gain considerably, causing much laughter. Then, we repeat the chorus again for as many colors as we can possibly think!
The third rhyme is great for when it is time to put away the rhythm sticks. "When It's One..." goes like this:
When it's one, one, play toward the sun, sun.
When it's two, two, play on your shoe, shoe.
When it's three, three, play on your knee, knee.
When it's four, four, play on the floor, floor.
When it's five, five, do a jive, jive.
When it's six, six, fold up (or put away) your sticks!
I hope you've enjoyed our rhythm stick ideas!