10 weeks of body percussion ideas - Week 2

15th April 2019

Forget drums and guitars, your body is an instrument! You can hum, clap and stomp music using just your body! Even if you do have other musical  instruments, these make great warmup activities for your class at the beginning the lesson. Why not even throw them into a maths or english class to energise your pupils? 

Every week for 10 weeks, we’ll be posting a new body percussion activity idea that we use in our own workshops. They make great warmups and energisers in the classroom or meetings. They can also be adapted for different difficulty levels, or to fit with a given topic or theme. 

Week 2 - Clapping Name Game

It makes sense to start of this series of body percussion and clapping game ideas off with a getting-to-know-you game. It works well with drums or percussion if you have them, but also with purely body percussion sounds. 

Introduce a simple rhythm (according to group ability) using body percussion, which includes a rest and practise it with the whole playing group in time together (ideally!). Going around the circle, each person says their name in place of the rest note. Listen to the examples R1a, R1b, and R2 of simple rhythms using 'stamps' and 'claps' below:

 

Let's use R1b from the player above as our example. We've basically borrowed the well-known We Will Rock You rhythm, but you can use any rhythm you like. Going around the circle, each person shouts out their name during the rest bar. For example (listen to R3):

STAMP STAMP CLAP x 3 “Stephen”

STAMP STAMP CLAP x 3 “Grace”

STAMP STAMP CLAP x 3 “Mike”

STAMP STAMP CLAP x 3 “Aisha”

Remember, everyone is doing the rhythm, but each person says their name individually during the rest. 

To make it a bit more dynamic, ask everyone to include an action as they shout out their name!

Extension

Once everyone has shared their name with the group, you can try passing the rhythm from person to person by saying someone else’s name within the group. For example: 

All: STAMP STAMP CLAP x 3

Stephen: “Grace” (passes to Grace)

All: STAMP STAMP CLAP x 3

Grace: “Aisha” (passes to Aisha)

All: STAMP STAMP CLAP x 3

Aisha: “Michael” (passes to Mike)

You get the idea….

Variation 1 - Musical improvisation (listen to R4)

You don’t have to play this as a name game. Rather than a saying a name, try taking it in turns to make up a body percussion improvisation during the musical rest. Encourage your group to be creative with different body sounds. 

Variation 2 - Music and maths (listen to R5)

You could try it as a way to practise your multiplication tables! 

Teacher: “6 x 8”

Pupil: “is 48”

Teacher: “9 x 9”

Pupil: “is 81”

Variation 3 - Music and language (listen to R6)

You could try it as a way to revise vocabulary in foreign language - ooh la la!

Stephen: STAMP STAMP CLAP “bonjour”

Grace: STAMP STAMP CLAP “fromage”

Mike: STAMP STAMP CLAP “café au lait”

Aisha: STAMP STAMP CLAP “ananas”

...and that's pretty much all the French I've got!