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Listen as I Play the Beat Rote

CD1: 4
Concept: beat/rhythm, timbre of non-pitched instruments
Objectives: The students will say their name on the beat. I can say my name on the beat
Interactive: Beat or No Beat Skills: speak, listen, play

Name Chant:
Listen as I play the beat.
Gee this drum sounds really neat! Beat Chant: (Alternate chant)
This is such a silly game. Beat, beat, feel the beat.
Sit down when you say your name. Say your name and take your seat.
My name is ______. My name is ______. My name is ______. My name is ______.
My name is ______. My name is ______. My name is ______. My name is ______.

Teaching Process/Suggested Activities: This song is included to have children practice keeping a
steady beat. It is also an excellent way to introduce the children to many different unpitched percussion
Week 1

instruments. The other teaching purpose is to learn student names. This isn’t a huge problem for the
kindergarten classroom teacher, but for the music specialist who may see up to 800 students each week,
learning names is really difficult.

Some names are challenging to fit with the chant. You may need to model for students with names like
“Amanda” how to fit their name in the chant. “My name’s Amanda” works better than “My name is Amanda.”
The students get more confident saying their names each time you do the chant. If you forget to begin with a name
chant, the students will remind you!

Each time you use the chant (every class if you are a specialist), choose a different instrument to keep the beat as
you and the class say the chant. Ask the students questions about the instrument: What is it made out of? (wood,
metal, other) How is the sound made? What is this instrument called? How is it played? This leads to instrument
classification. Eventually the students will be able to tell you if the instrument is a membrane (drum), metal, wood
or shake/scrape. In the beginning of the school year, you’ll play the instrument on your own, demonstrating how
it is held and played. Later in the school year you may want to have some children join you in playing the beat.
This is a great way to assess if they are able to keep a beat!

Same or Different? When students have done this many times, determine if your students can differentiate
between beat and rhythm. Say the first line of the chant patting a beat. Then say it and clap the rhythm of the
words. Ask if it was the same or different?

Musicplayonline: In the Musicplayonline resources, the notation movie includes the music notation for the
teacher, and the lyrics movie is illustrated with large, colorful pictures to use with your students.

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Rhythm Instruments (also called unpitched or non-pitched instruments) are usually classified into four families
that describe how the sound is made - membranes, woods, metals, and shakes/scrapes. When introducing the
instruments to the students, demonstrate how they are played and discuss with the students how the sound is
produced. Then, classify them into one of the four families of unpitched instruments. There is some overlap
between families. For example, jingle taps are both metals and shakes.
Membranes Wood Metals Shakes & Scrapes

woodblock jingle bells sandpaper blocks

hand drum


conga drum triangle
jingle bells

Developing Steady Beat and Beat Charts:

Patting the beat on their legs (patchen) is one of the easiest ways for students to keep a beat. Find many different
ways to keep a beat. Try tapping hands on your head, tapping your nose, tapping your tummy, tapping elbows
or clapping to the music. If you are tapping the beat to piece of music in 2/4 meter, to help reinforce the feeling
of two beats in a group, have the students tap two beats “here” and two beats “there.” For example, two beats on
one leg, then two beats on the other. If you are listening to music in 4/4 meter, have them tap four beats “here”
and four beats “there.” The song that follows is in 3/4 meter. If you listen to the song before singing, try tapping
three beats “here” and three beats “there.”

Use the interactive Ways to Move activity as a movement word wall. There are ideas in the activity for locomotor,
non-locomotor activities.

Another way to help your students develop the ability to maintain a steady beat is to have the children tap the
beat on a beat chart or pointing page. Pointing pages are included for many songs in this guide. Pointing pages
include “beat icons” specific to one song. (#23 Hey Hey, #37 Pumpkin Fat, #50 Teddy Bear, etc.) A beat chart
that is given on page xi of the introductory pages. This beat chart can be used with any song. You may enlarge
and laminate this chart. When children recite simple poems and chants or sing simple songs have them tap the
beat. You may want to make “Rhythm Bags” for your students. In my rhythm bags, I put four large foam heart
shapes and eight craft sticks. If tapping a song in 2/4 or 4/4 meter, the students would lay out the four hearts on
the floor and tap on them with a craft stick. When they have tapped four beats, they begin again. Later, when they
start recognizing that rhythms are “sounds on a beat” they can use the rhythm bags to notate and create rhythm
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