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Rhythmic Improvisation

Discussion in 'Music' started by linber, May 31, 2011.

  1. linber

    linber New commenter

    Has anyone any stimulating activities they do in lessons to assess improvisation as part of a group performance? I've spent a lot of time online looking at the resources here, plus on the 'Teaching Music' website, but nothing's grabbed me! I want to do more rhythmic improvisation with Year 7, either as a class or as a group activity.
     
  2. I don't know if this will help you or not, but I found that students really like this activity and it reinforces note/rest values and rhythmic improvisation. Take a set of four chairs, or you can do more than one set if you want to do this activity in groups. Set the chairs next to one another in a a line. These chairs represent one measure of rhythm in a 4/4 time signature (which you can change later to three chairs for 3/4 time, two chairs for 2/4, etc.)
    * Begin by tapping the chairs in a steady beat saying ?beat, beat, beat, beat?
    *Have four students sit in the chairs and count them as you would quarter notes ?ta, ta, ta, ta? Ask them what kind of notes are being represented by the students?
    Remove a student or two. Ask how would it be counted? Point out that even though the chairs are empty they are still there and they take up a space, so ask them what we would consider the empty chairs to be? (A quarter rest)
    Have six students try to figure out how to sit on the chairs. Soon they will double up and share seats. This will give them a visualization of eighth notes in pairs.

    You can continue this with half notes(two students lay across two chairs), whole notes(one student lay across all four chairs), or even sixteenth notes (four students to a chair)
    Once they get how to do this, choose a group of students to come up and create a rhythm pattern you put on the board using the chairs and their bodies. Make it more difficult by not letting them talk to do it. Choose another group of students to create the next rhythm and so on. Or I will leave enough chairs in the room to do three sets of 4 chairs that way you could even make it into a race to see what group can complete the rhythm first.

    Then put your students into groups and have them come up with their own rhythmic patterns and they must perform them for the other groups.

    Hopefully this may help you a bit. I have done this with my students and it's something they absolutely love doing and what a better way to get them involved mentally and physically! It's also fun to see their creativity coming out as they try to make various rhythm patterns.
     

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