Creative Beginnings: Music

Residency Overview: The Creative Beginnings music residency introduces young children to the basic language of African drumming using the djembe drum. Student learn and create simple patterns based on their every day lives, including children’s literature, emotions and favorite foods. Drumming is a community experience which encourages students to listen to each other and respect others’ ideas.

Arts Objectives:

  • Identify, move to, and play a steady beat
  • Learn to “say it and play it” with African drum language
  • Create simple rhythmic patterns
  • Use instrumentation to express emotion
  • Use drumming and instrumentation for storytelling

Curriculum Connections:

  • Discovery and expression of emotions
  • Identifying syllables in words
  • Moving in space
  • Discovery and expression of favorites (food, place to go, relative)
  • Identify parts of the body

Sample Student Activities:

  • Teach parts of drum and how to play “good and pah” sounds
  • Create pattern using child’s name
  • Create pattern using child’s favorite food, place etc.
  • Move body to steady beat
  • Use drums and instruments to represent character, emotions, movement and setting in storytelling
  • Learn simple drum pattern and sing song while drumming

 Sample Professional Development Activities:

  • Create pattern using adult’s name, foods or other themes
  • Teach box notation system of documenting patterns
  • Create simple drum pattern for familiar song
  • Use instrumentation and movement to enhance familiar story
  • Explore different vocal expressions and transferring them to the drums (whisper, speaking, loud voices, singing voices)

Facilitator’s Notes

Before starting any music activity, you must establish a way to cue the students to stop playing. This can be done as game of “Stop!” Have children play freely on the drums and when you say “1, 2, 3, 4 Stop!” they stop. Practice it several times before you move on to the music activities. Invite students to become the leader of “Stop!” This helps students develop leadership skills. Begin rhythmic activities using the “body” drum and move on to instruments when you feel students are following cues, and playing in sync. Classroom instrument kits often contain the four families of non-pitched percussion including: woods, drums, shakers and ringing metals. The ringing metals are often triangles, which can be tricky for children to control. Demonstrate use of the instruments to your students one by one so that they understand how to hold and play them. Model holding the triangle on one side of the metal and play the other side; this provides students with an opportunity to play a clear and precise rhythm on a muted metal.

Send this to friend