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Boom Boom Beat


Total Posts: 5
Joined: May 20, 2015

Boom whacker ostinato:
I only had a single one octave set of boomwhackers at my school (this song uses only boom whackers and djembes) so I decided I may as well take the plunge and ask schools in my network if they had any boom whackers (and djembes) I could possibly borrow for the term....I figured "If you don't ask you don't get!"

Well, I certainly 'got!' - more than enough boom whackers and 16 djembes all up. Well worth asking smiling.

I was loaned many boom whackers from nearby schools so ended up with a class set of A, E, G and C boom whackers - the four notes needed for this song.

This meant that I could have the students in 4 groups, each group with a different ostinato note, and play along with the song. We did the suggested activities of using body percussion and untuned percussion to familiarise ourselves with the rhythm before trying the melody. This worked really well and meant success was pretty much guaranteed when the time came to put it onto the boom whackers.

Something that helped the players know when it was their turn to play, particularly the juniors, was this: I took the colour of the boom whacker needed in the order of the melody and turned it into a chant that went "pur-ple, ye-llow, green-now, red-as-well".

The syllables in the chant matched the rhythm so it helped keep everyone together, and helped the students visually! We had learnt to sing the melody by notes names first (AA, EE, GG, CCC)... but for the juniors in particular it helped to simply go by colour!

****Of course if you don't have access to djembes and boom whackers you can use tuned percussion, keyboards, recorders etc but having the same instruments as the recording made it very real for the students and the enthusiasm was high.... boom whackers are a hit... literally and figuratively!

Djembe rhythm:
We had a whole lot of fun with djembes!

I was able to borrow 16 djembes however some of my classes are up to 33 students so sometimes we paired up to take it in turns, but other times I substituted djembes with the bongos I had (handy as also have a clear high and low pitch), the two cajons I had (again have two distinct tones/pitches) and then to fill out the rest of the student needs just simple tambour drums (attempting to make two distinct sounds with fingertips and palm).

Students LOVED the drumming and it's definitely an area I'd love to get more into with them in the future.

Less than a week to concert day now and we're all very excited!

Posted on August 25, 2015 at 8:11 AM
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