The introductory activity is called “Echo.”
The teacher (or selected participant) plays a rhythm and the group plays back the rhythm – “Echo.” Repeat each rhythm a few times in the beginning. Once the group becomes more comfortable with listening and playing the rhythm, do not repeat the rhythm more than one time; rather, add a new rhythm each time! This activity improves listening and rhythmical drumming skills. It is a fun activity for everyone at every level. Once the class is proficient with following the lead of the person in the middle change to the “Four Corners” game.
Place groups into 4 corners, with the teacher (or selected participant) in the middle
Teacher plays a different rhythm for each group. The teacher has each group repeat or Echo their own pattern until they are able to perform it alone. Have them demonstrate their rhythm before progressing to the next group. Repeat this until each group can remember and play their own rhythm.
Before adding the rhythms, test each group one more time to assure knowledge of the rhythm.
Begin with Group 1. Have them play their rhythm until it is clear and unified. Add Group 2, again making sure their rhythm is clear and unified. Repeat this with Group 3 and Group 4.
Encourage creativity. Each group can come up with a unique rhythm and repeat the process from the beginning.
4 Rhythms = Teacher gives each group a different rhythm using the ball, risers, floor and floor stomps. Have each group practice their rhythm alone, then have Group 1 begin with their rhythm, add Group 2, add Group 3, and finally, add Group 4 so that all four groups are playing separate rhythms simultaneously. Make sure you always have one group playing a “base” rhythm (one with a strong rhythm). This helps keep the group playing together. Once the groups have practiced, mix up the order in which they play. To finish, have one group at a time stop playing until you are only left with the group playing the “base” rhythm.
Teachers – Make sure the rhythms fit together well. It is a good idea to practice this first!