I begin by asking if anyone can think of a two-beat song. If not I suggest ‘Row, row, row your boat’ (Or age appropriate if they are older)then I get the group to clap down on their knees for the down beat and click for the upbeat. Ask if they notice the difference in dynamics. Explain why the downbeat is louder.
Do the same for a three-beat song (eg. ‘Happy Birthday’) and four-beat (eg. Twinkle Twinkle)
Then I play some contemporary kids music and ask them to ‘conduct’ or clap/click the rhythm as soon as they hear it. When I see a child that has it I indicate they must stand and stop conducting. The game is over when all are standing. Play the songs in random order ie first a four-beat, then two-beat, then three-beat etc.
Submitted by Audrey Reynders