“Gently down the street.”
“Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, life is not a dream.” – “Row Your Boat” student variations
The Owls, Turtles, Belugas, Zebras, Bears, Buccaneers, and Agents classes are singing, “Row Row Row Your Boat” while playing drums. We sing the song and play the drum at the same speed: either slow, medium, and fast, according to how we sing. Boats travel at different speeds and our playing and singing reflects that. Most of the students already know the song or learn it while playing it several times with the group.
We start out with me calling out the different tempos: slow, medium, or fast. Then I give students a turn to choose the tempo we sing and to lead the group. So many of them love playing fast or as C. Owls says, “turn on the gas!” Several students like it medium speed and a couple like it slow and steady.
In our next class session, I have one student be the lead singer with a microphone, while the class follows in drumming. This is great opportunity for students to perform for their friends, share their voice, and to be a leader. So many of the students enjoy being in the spotlight and singing for their friends. There are some beautiful developing voices! Plus, I get to hear the student’s version of the lyrics, like posted above; some of them are funny. Singing and drumming at different speeds works students’ listening skills, attention skills, impulse control, motor coordination, and staying with the group. Plus they enjoy the sensory of playing the drum very fast many times!