Reply To: 7th grade general-help!

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I observed a 6th grade general music class last semester and the teacher did many activities with them. If you have access to congas, hand drums, shakers, bells, or any other percussion instrument, the teacher I observed did numerous drum circles. She would create rhythms for each instrument and layer them in. She would usually have 4 or 5 different instruments and different rhythms going at the same time. She did not introduce all the rhythms at once if they were difficult for the children.

Every Wednesday, the same teacher would have “World Music Wednesday” where the students would learn about different cultures and their music. They would listen to samples of the music and talk about what they liked and didn’t like.

She also would have the students play guitar and recorded. When they played guitar they sang songs a lot with the chords they were playing. They learned 3 chords throughout the 9 weeks and learned countless songs to go with those chords. For recorder they did this one exercise where they were to create an improvisation during one of the songs. It was very interesting to listen to each of their creations. When she would have the students play these instruments she often had them play it all together and then asked if the students wanted to play it as a solo or small groups and allowed that for a few minutes before moving on the the next song.

These are just some ideas I got from observing her class. I hope it helps.

Heather Trowbridge
Kent State University