“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” Shinichi Suzuki

Grade 6

Students at Grovecrest complete their musical journey with a bang as they learn percussion instruments like bongos, djembe,  conga drums and tambourines.  Thanks to dedicated volunteers, our students learn about rhythm and beat while working together to make great music!

For Volunteers:
Thanks for taking the time to teach our 6th graders.  You will be teaching drums for 30 minutes per week during an 8-week semester. (See semester schedule for dates). Don't worry if you don't have any experience teaching percussion, it's fun and easy for any beginner to pick up. You binder is divided into 12 lessons, the last 4 are if you want to put together a performance for a school assembly.  You also have a music CD in your binder to play along with the lessons.  You will need to check out your 6th grade classroom music binder from Janna Hubert (801-785-2311), which you will return at the end of the semester.  We have had many books go missing over the years, and this is the best way to keep costs down. 

Students will play using the following, which you can assign as you feel will best suit your class:11 conga drums, 6 bongo drums, and 3 dejembe drums.  You will also need an "engine room" to keep the steady beat going, which is a combination of 5-7 gyros, rhythm sticks, maracas, tambourines, or cow bells.

The kids love nothing more than "We Will Rock You" on the CD--it's always a fun time!

Tips for Classroom Management
1. One thing that really works is to have a "rumble" at the end of every lesson; that means that they get to play, bang, do whatever rhythm they want for 1-2 minutes.  They have to watch your "cue" to all stop together.
2. Have them stand behind their chairs before you seat them to make sure everyone has an instrument to play.  You can also set up the instruments in a square with a seating chart so they can rotate each week and have a chance to try different instruments. 
3. Continually encourage them to listen to each other, and let sections play on and off throughout the song.  
4. Find any local rhythm band who could come show-off.  Randy Mott is the percussion teacher at PGJH and may have some students he could send over to do a demo.
5. Follow you own intuition and add your own style! You are the teacher, there is no "right" way to teach.  Thanks again for all you do!

Classroom Set-Up 
 You will need to get a key from the office, we keep the Music Lab locked at all times to protect the expensive equipment. Make sure it is the Music Lab key (#10), because there may be a class in the Piano Lab. It is important to have the classroom set-up BEFORE the students arrive to prevent chaos.Usually what works best is a square or circle with a chair behind each instrument. 
Other Lesson Ideas and Links:

Simple Rhythm Activities

Name Rhythm Game
Be sure you are sitting at a conga drum.  You being by saying and beating to the rhythm, in your POWER VOICE.

Teacher:  "What's your name?"
Student to your left: "My name is Ma-ri-a"
then immediately you drum again
Teacher " What's your name?"
Next student to left of Maria says, "My name is ..."
And so on... The key is to teach them to drum and say their name with the same syllable and rhythm. Sometimes it's actually tricky!

Stick-Stick-Shoe-Floor from Rhythm-Play

5 to 10 minutes
INSTRUMENTS:1 pair of sticks per person
FORMATION: Large Standing Circle or Standing Conglomerate
1) Explain that this activity will be like “follow the leader;” say, “I’ll play,
then you’ll play and do whatever I do.” Again, start out with a very simple
pattern, like a four count played on sticks (1-2-3-4 and the group responds
playing 1-2-3-4). Then take it from there, adding to or modifying the call,
making a funny face or a body movement as you call out simple rhythms.
Do this for about a minute. (Remember to keep the calls and movements
simple enough for your particular group to follow, but challenging enough to
keep them interested.)

2) Once the group is in the groove, sit down (cross-legged style) so you can
hit your sticks together, and also hit the floor. This brings another tone into
the pattern, so a simple riff might be: stick-stick-floor-floor (the group responds),
then you play stick-floor-stick-floor, and so on.

Keep the tempo slow enough so that the group can follow, only
speeding up as the group can follow; you want to keep a sense of unity, not
chaos. For some groups, saying the words stick and floor when you strike
the sticks or floor helps tie the verbal in with the kinesthetic.

3) Now uncross your legs and stick your feet out in front so you can add hits
on your shoes. A pattern might be: stick-stick-shoe-shoe (hit sticks together
twice, then hit your shoes twice); the group responds, copying what you’ve
done. Then try stick-stick-shoe-floor. Here’s another: stick-shoe-floor-shoe,
or stick-stick-floor-floor-shoe-shoe-shoe and so on. The patterns you create
are unlimited (just remember your group’s ability). Feel free to explore and
play around; it’s really fun!
This activity takes call and response and group focus to more kinesthetic
heights; keep chanting stick, floor, or shoe, as necessary to keep your group
in the groove.
Go around the circle (if the group is not too large) and invite each person to
create a riff to which the group will respond. Encourage them to integrate
their shoes, the floor, and even (softly!) tap on a body part (their own, not
someone else’s!) as part of the rhythm pattern; e.g., Sticks-floor-shoe-shoe
(group responds), then sticks-floor-shoe-thighs (group responds), etc.
You can add a “Simon Says” component to this activity. Remind the group to
play what you play, regardless of what you say. So if you say stick-shoefloor-
shoe, but you actually play stick-shoe-stick-shoe, you’ll be able to “fake
them out” adding more challenge to the fun (and more reasons to focus). No
one has to be “out” if they mess up (unless that would work for your group);
it’s just a great way to bring more laughs.

Please comment below if you have ideas that have worked well for you with drums!  Thanks!