Based in San Francisco, iteachkids.org is an early childhood education blog by Tiva Lee Samaru. HER posts explore; through videos and other resources - original early childhood education curricula and ideas for enrichment classes, as well as, tips and tricks for classroom management and general childcare.

Our natural instrument

Our natural instrument

When some people think of teaching a music class they think piano, guitar and other types of instruments. But when we think of teaching a music class we think of specifics such as rhythm, tempo and genre to name a few.

Our point here is a music class doesn't only mean banging on a drum or shaking some shakers. It can be much simpler than that. It can involve making simple or complexed sounds using our natural instrument. The body.

By using our voices or clapping our hands, stomping our feet or patting our legs, we make a sound, we make rhythm, we make music!

We found a way to reinvent our Storytime Song "Down to the Ocean" by pairing it with hand, chest and leg percussion patterns. The focus here is to teach our students the song by allowing them to connect with the natural rhythmic capabilities of their bodies. 

How did it go?

We infused these percussion rhythms into both our story time and music classes and our students easily followed along. Clapping is something young children love to do and patting as well, so it didn't take much convincing before they were all engrossed in the activity and along the way adding their own rhythms! Actually, it didn't take convincing at all. They were going at it with full force from the get-go and chuckling when they messed up a percussion pattern. For some students, the coordination and rhythmic skill this activity called for came easily but others took several attempts before getting on track, especially if they were singing and doing the body percussion at the same time. All in good fun either way right.

One suggestion would be to show the activity to your students before beginning. As mentioned earlier, the coordination and rhythmic aspect of the activity can be difficult for some students to understand or grasp. However, a little demonstration or even an explanation of the activity will help.


Take a look!

If you would love to learn this simple music activity that doesn't need much of an introduction, then feel free to watch our video. You will hear and see how we paired the singing and percussion rhythms while increasing the level of difficulty. We are confident this activity is easy to learn, easy to teach and exposes young children to the rhythmic aspect of music and that they can make music using their natural instrument!

Feel The Beat,

Tiva & Randa

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