Lesson Plan: Improvising Rhythm Answers

Need a new lesson plan idea? Here’s one on improvising rhythm answers from My Music Class, NAfME’s online lesson plan and teaching tip library.

Starting with body percussion and moving to timpani or hand drums, students improvise their own rhythms in question/answer style. After demonstrating some question rhythms and good examples of answers, invite students to improvise their own answers in response to your questions, starting with one body sound and simple rhythms and gradually adding more sounds and complex rhythms. Invite students to work in pairs before moving on to drums for more Q/A improvising.

Extensions have students working in small groups to continue the Q/A rhythm improvisations, transferring the Q/A improvisations to the recorder or pitched percussion instruments, and singing short melodic patterns with two or three pitches, first echoing, then answering.

Read more (including assessment strategies) about this lesson plan, submitted by Sandra L. Stauffer and Jennifer Davidson.

Find hundreds more in NAfME’s online lesson plan and teaching tip library. From the home page, click on “Lessons” on the top banner, and start your search by key word, discipline, National Standard, and/or grade level.

NAfME member Sandra L. Stauffer is a professor of music in music education at Arizona State University in Tempe. Jennifer Davidson is a consultant with Oakland Schools, Waterford, Michigan.

—Linda C. Brown, January 11, 2012, © National Association for Music Education (nafme.org)