Reply To: Beginning Band Enrichment Activities
Believe it or not, some really fun enrichment activities that my students love are using the James O. Froseth Rhythm Cards and soundtracks. I affectionately refer to this activity as “funky rhythms” because you just can’t help but move along with the retro soundtracks. One of the most challenging tasks I have with my middle school students is keeping a steady beat. One of our feeder schools has a wonderful general music teacher who does amazing things and the other has had on and off long term subs with no music background. All in all, I get a big mix of students who can and definitely cannot feel a steady beat. And of course, what good are rhythm activities if students cannot yet distinguish between a steady beat and rhythm? Activities I use for steady beat are listening to music and moving to the beat as well as dancing. Yes, I make my band students dance. And they have a great time doing it. I use kids dance videos produced by Koo Koo Kangaroo (available to watch for free on Youtube) and my students have come to love dancing to “Dinosaur Stomp” and “No Crust” in particular. Overdoing this type of activity is a serious no-no, but once in a while it is very useful to break up a rehearsal that lacks energy and focus and to reinforce a skill they desperately need.