One of the main things we love about a music class is that it embodies a sense of togetherness.
Children sharing instruments, parents singing along and sometimes clapping - everyone trying their best to do it together in harmony. Many theoretical elements of a music class also encourage this thing called togetherness. Music is all about that word. In order for a song to be effective, each element of it needs to be completely in sync with the other, otherwise, it may sound a bit offbeat and even out of tune.
Every instrument should complement the other and should have their own space within the composition, so that when played together, everything falls neatly into place.
It's wonderful when you think of it, particularly when you apply that same pattern of thought to your music class. When you do, do you know how many activities will make a lot more sense? As educators ourselves, we know how burdening curriculum and activity choices can become. But sometimes, what makes the difference is how you think about them, the main purpose of the activity or idea. The deeper meaning of them, not just the superficial.
When we think of the deeper meaning of our activities, one essential word that gives it a deeper purpose than just merely for entertainment and even education comes to mind. As it relates to today's activity, that word is togetherness.
A few weeks ago, we shared a dance activity accompanied by a song. That song - "Let's Dance Together Like Family", is the same one that influenced this activity.
The following is a group singing, warm-up activity, accompanied by different clapping and patting patterns. Students will be taught simple lyrics to a song, which they will then clap and pat along to. The focus of this activity is to encourage everyone to sing as a group - in time and on the beat - while carrying the rhythm of the song with the different but complementary clapping and patting patterns.
How did it go?
Any clapping or group singing activity tried in our classroom, almost always works without any problem. The simplicity of an activity of this nature is, in our opinion, what contributes the most to its success. Adults and children instantly feel inclined to join in, singing, and clapping as loudly and confidently as they can, this activity being no exception.
Our students found it easy to just jump into the action without much preparation. Because the melody of the song repeats itself, they caught on quickly. The lyrics change from verse to verse, but again, that did not inhibit their success. They quickly picked up on those changes and kept a lively disposition throughout.
At the end, they were all singing and clapping along together without missing a beat - a result that clearly reflects upon the purpose behind this activity in the first place - togetherness.
To make the activity flow smoothly, it would be wise to teach your students the different clapping patterns and song lyrics beforehand. However, if you feel like you can just jump right in without doing so, then by all means, follow your intuition.
Additionally, because of the nature of this activity and the song itself, using it as a warm-up activity may be a good choice. By warm-up we mean, an activity at the beginning of the class to get everyone settled and lift the excitement at the start. Activities like this are always helpful, especially when dealing with a new, young or large class.
Take a look!
Want to include more group singing activities into your repertoire? Then, this one would be a good one for that, so check out the video! You will be able to learn the song and the different clapping patterns.
Do it Together,
Tiva & Randa