Rhythm Sticks: “Train is Coming!”

To work on impulse control, fast/slow, and language, I did a train song in the Elephants, Seals, and Ducks class.  Playing two rhythm sticks makes the sound of a train on a track.  The students tapped the sticks quietly and slowly together while the training is coming, and then loudly and fast when the train is here.

Ducks Train Song

Click clack click clack
Train is coming
Click clack click clack
train is coming

Train is here!
(Name) says the train is here.
Choo!  Choo!

Train is gone.

My guitar playing provided an auditory cue for the students to play fast or slow.  For the “click clack” section, I played a slow and quiet pattern of strum stop to imitate the click clack of rhythm sticks.  For the “train is here” section, I strummed fast and loud to encourage the students to do the same.  For the first couple of times, I told students when the train was here.  Then I gave students the chance to be the leader and tell the class “train is here” or “train is gone” to go fast or slow, respectively.  They got the hang of it and some started excitedly shouting out, “train is here” or “train stop.”

Seals Train Song

Most students love trains and one student told us that Thomas was coming with his friends.  They love being the leader and deciding when the train comes and leaves, which also works on their expressive language skills.  Some students are working on 2 to 3 word utterances, and this music activity helps them string the words together, “train,” “is,” and “here.”  After saying 2 or 3 of the words, they get the immediate reinforcement of the loud and fast guitar playing and playing the sticks in the same manner.  Or the immediate slow and quiet of a train that is gone.  They control the train with their words;   that is empowering.

Elephants Train Song


About Hilary Yip

Music Therapy. Martial Arts. Rowing/Coxswain. Creative Movement.
This entry was posted in Ducks 12-13, Elephants 12-13, Rhythm Sticks, Seals 12-13, Songs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


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