Classroom percussion lesson planning

In this article you’ll find a few ideas for creating a music lesson plan all about untuned percussion instruments.

Making drums is always a fun activity with younger students. Students can make their own drums if you have enough materials, otherwise you could do it as a class project. You’ll simply need a large empty can, some rubber or chamois for the drum head, a large rubber band to hold it on, and a small stick to play it with.

Place the can upright on the drumhead material. Mark a circle that is 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) greater in diameter than the can. Cut out the circle; stretch it tightly over the open end of the can, and secure it with the rubber band. The pencil or stick can then be used to play our rhythms

In africa some cultures mimic language with “talking drums” Students can separate into small groupings and alternate playing a message to the rest of their group with these homemade drums, hand clapping or other simple percussion instruments. See if anyone can understand the content of the message.

Call and response rhythms: With drums, handclaps, or makeshift percussion instruments, play a series of rhythms and let students repeat those rhythms together.

Explain the difference between tuned and tuned; this can also be described as definite vs. indefinite pitch, or tone vs. noise. You could have a quiz where you name an instrument and ask the class to identify them as untuned or tuned.

You can spend some time talking about idiophones and membranophones – what they are and how to know which is which. Name some percussion instruments and ask students to identify them as one or the other.

You could have the students help you make flash cards of all the instruments just learned about. Students can write the names of the instruments on the back of the cards after cutting them out.

There are lots more Music Lesson plans for classroom music at this website.

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