The mallet on our drums were our feet today. The Ducks went for a walk, run, and stopped on the drum, corresponding to slow, fast, and stopping. I chanted “we’re going for a walk, we’re going for a walk, and then we stopped” while playing a steady beat. I matched one students’ tempo and then kept it steady for everyone to match. Listening to my drum beat and looking at me, students matched my tempo.
Then I changed it to “we’re going for a run, we’re going for a run, and then we stopped” while playing a fast beat. Fast was the student’s preferred speed and they matched it quickly. Most of all, they liked to stop and a few held up their hands with their mallet as if saying, “I stopped!”
Learning to stop when told is important for safety, to prevent injuries or accidents. They are also working on walking feet and running feet. By playing it on the instrument, they can feel the difference between the steady beat and the fast beat in their bodies and associated it with the words “walk” and “run.” Our bodies and movements are rhythmic and it is beneficial to support and entrain them with rhythm.