Body Percussion Activities for the Elementary Music Classroom

Looking for some easy ways to implement body percussion activities into your music lessons? If you’re teaching elementary music, then this post is for you. I’ll be sharing some easy ways you can add body percussion to your class activities.

This song “Everybody Say Hello” with body percussion actions is one easy way to get started.

Although , you can use any song and add in some simple patterns for students to play.

WHY USE BODY PERCUSSION?

Body percussion activities help students connect movement and music concepts.

Playing body percussion on the beat helps student internalize feeling the beat.

Playing body percussion keeps HANDS, FEET, NOSES, SHOULDERS, ELBOS, KNEES AND TOES BUSY!

When students play body percussion, they have to concentrate on more than one thing at once. This not only helps their brains make strong connections and new connections, but it helps them learn how to FOCUS.

Listening to the music, moving the body on the beat, following directions and keeping up with the music all require students to pay attention while using multiple parts of the brain and body together.

Some things to consider when choosing activities.

Be aware of student ability- Kinders may not be able to keep the beat, or snap, but they can “experience” the beat through a variety of activities using body percussion. (Ideas are in the strategies section)

Be consistent and repeat activities or patterns so that students are comfortable playing body percussion. When you first introduce it, your students may play around or laugh. But as you keep using it in your classroom, they will consider it to be a normal thing!

FREE BODY PERCUSSION SONG & ACTIVITY

STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING BODY PERCUSSION ACTIVITIES

Play 1 action patterns- MARCHING, STOMPING, FLYING, JUMPING, HOPPING, PATTING, CLAPPING, TAPPING

Consider playing some instrumental music and have students do just one action at a time.

Sing Play Create is on SPOTIFY! We have instrumental music tracks for you to use for these types of activities.

Incorporate body percussion actions into your rhythm activities. As students play a rhythm, have them adapt the rhythm using body percussion actions. This makes a great STATION ACTIVITY.

FREE FEEL THE BEAT MOVEMENT ACTIVITY CARDS AND CHANT

Circle Time: Have everyone sit in a circle. Play a drum.

Ask everyone to play on the drum beat. Begin with patting knees.

  • After a minute or so, ask someone to choose another action. Or, play a game. Choose one student to be in the middle. That student plays an action. When you stop playing the drum, that student chooses another player. You could have that student walk around the outside of the circle (like Duck, Duck Goose) and tap someone when the drum beat stops.
  • Either way, you can play this game every class time at the end of class. What could you name this game? “Who’s Got the Beat?” “What’s Your Beat?” Have your students name the game and use it for a reward time for them at the end of class.
  • Eventually, your students will be able to play the drum too as they become more skilled.

Use Video activities.

Use Body Percussion Flashcards in Stations- students create and play 4 or 8 beat patterns.

Use Copycat activities where 1 student stands at the front of the class and the rest of the students copy them. Use a drum or instrumental music.

There are many ways to implement body percussion into your classroom activities.

Most importantly, give your students many different ways to experience body percussion.

MORE BODY PERCUSSION ACTIVITY IDEAS

I have some fun body percussion activities you’ll want to take a look at for your music classes.

Hoping you got some ideas for your elementary music classes on how to use body percussion!

Sandra from Sing Play Create

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Elementary music class starts off in an engaging and fun way using Body Percussion activities.  Students will love sing and play body percussion patterns with fun music. Get the tips and teaching strategies in this blog post by Sandra at Sing Play Create.

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