The big tubano drum has an invisible sticker that screams, “Play me.” Students who walk by it are pulled in by its enchanting forest scenery and play it, even when the class is engrossed in another activity.
While doing some dancing, Alligators found the pull of the drum enticing and most of them at one point had to play it. After so many re-directions and sad curious faces, I decided to make the tubano drum, instead of individual hand drums, our next activity. Now was the appropriate time to play the drum. We worked on different rhythms, imitation, and impulse control.
“It’s the big drum!” – Alligators
For each student, I played a rhythm of their first name and their last name. All the students listened to me play and most of the Alligators imitated my rhythm. When we speak, there is a rhythm to our words. Being able to say the syllables while hitting the drum, students are controlling the speed, diction, and tone of their speech. Some of our students rush their words or scramble them. By forcing students to play and speak at the same time, it slows down their speech and makes their brain think about what they are going to say, resulting in clearer words.
In addition, I played some simple rhythm patterns that many of the students imitated, testing their receptive and listening skills and body coordination. Then, I let them play what they wanted to: fast, slow, loud, or soft with me counting “1, 2, 3, stop” when their turn was over. Students were all smiles when playing; just so happy that they could play the big drum freely!