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Here are some fun ideas to use as ice breakers or to brush up on rhythm skills in group lessons and workshops. I’ve even used them to kick off my teacher workshops, and they inspired very enthusiastic participation from all!

The Rhythm Ring

1)  Prior to class, set out a group of rhythm instruments in the middle of a circle of chairs or rug area where the students will be sitting. As they enter, explain that you will be passing the instruments out to those who are waiting patiently when class begins. (This will help with chaos control!)

2)  Ask the students to think of a rhythmic pattern in 4/4 time, and to be prepared to play it repeatedly, once they have been asked to join in the rhythm ring.  [···]

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Are you looking for?

  • A few ideas for a fresh new way to start off a lesson?
  • A few quick improv games to use in a group setting?
  • A reward activity for a student’s hard work on an assignment?
  • Starter ideas for the next composition:

In each part of this series, to be continued over the next few months, we’ll explore one or two approaches to fun and easy improvisations. This will be an opportunity for us to get a collection of activities for beginning or continuing to bring creativity into our music studios. I’m saying “we” because I’m hoping that as I share my ideas, you will reciprocate!  Try these things out, and let us know how they work and how you adapted things for your particular teaching situation. Add other improv ideas that have been successful with your music students. [···]

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