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.
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.
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