After spending several weeks reviewing notes and rests using a variety of activities, I introduce these 6 rhythms patterns:
Once they can perform the rhythms comfortably, I divide them into 6 groups, pass out the instruments, and have each group practice their rhythm pattern. I have the groups play individually, two groups together, three groups together, and so on until we are playing all of the rhythms together. After some practice, we try the rhythms in canon starting and ending with the "Big Reds." This activity allows the students to practice playing contrasting rhythms (which is really tricky!) and it leads nicely into our Stomp rhythm projects (which are coming soon!).
Here is a snippet of their practice session:
And here is our final product:
A little bit of rushing but not too shabby! This lesson is challenging but very rewarding and the students love hearing how all of the rhythms interact with one another. It is definitely a favorite among my students. :)