Working with others to achieve a common goal can sometimes be a challenging task even for adults.
More than the work it's the personalities and the particular traits and attributes others come with. We've all been exposed to some sort of team building project or exercise from since our early childhood days.
Memories of failed group projects in high school come flooding back and is a great example and lesson in team building failures. I'm sure you remember that one person in your group who didn't pull their weight or that one person with that "I'll just do it all" attitude or that one person who never communicated with the group or that one person who said they would do their part and failed to do it the night before the project's due date. And those are simple scenarios in simple stages of life.
Teamwork gets stronger and more pertinent in the working world where ethics and protocol fall into play. Luckily for us, it's not that serious, but it is an important concept to introduce and explore in your classes.
Now we are pretty much at the end of our "Ocean", oyster-themed segment and so we figured it would be nice to come up with a music activity which required our students to work together with others to complete a task. Not forgetting the music theory aspect we combined clapping with partner play and a lesson on two different time signatures.
How did it go?
Oh boy. Let us tell you, our students loved this activity. They loved working with a partner and obviously thoroughly enjoyed the clapping. They also eagerly counted along which allowed them to understand what time signatures mean and the differences between them both. We also played around with tempo by slowing down and speeding up the activity and they kept their enthusiasm up throughout the entire thing.
One suggestion we have in order to make this activity a bit less complicated would be to really take it slow. Count along with your students as you demonstrate what needs to be done and then once you've commenced the activity take your time as you move through the different elements. Remember clapping though simple can become difficult with an activity such as this one, so don't have too high of an expectation. Yes, you want your students to learn the activity well, but in this case, you should focus on having them understand it first.
Take a look!
So if you are looking for a fun and educational partner play music theory based activity for your next music class then feel free to watch our video. We are positive that this activity will encourage your students to work together with their partner in order to complete the exercise and if it's not so easy for them then they will definitely learn some problem-solving skills along the way.
Tiva & Randa