Need ideas for drum-related activity to kindergarten class

AxisDrummer

Senior Member
So my daughter is in kindergarten this year. The kids take turns being "Superhero of The Week" and get to pick someone to come in who they consider their hero. Most have a family member (mom/dad/uncle/grandparent) come in and do a demonstration or activity (sometimes a craft) with the kids, usually pertaining to their career/hobby and usually the kid gets to bring something home related to the event. There's been a fireman dad (brought in gear and plastic helmets for kids,) a carpenter (let kids drill their own "Crayon holders"), and several others. Of course I'm competitive and have to do something cool, right? My kiddo doesn't have the title until February so I've got plenty of time.

Without question, it HAS to be a drumming-related activity which is way cooler than my actual job. So does anyone have any ideas on a group activity I could do with 17 kids? I planned on getting 17 pairs of kid-sized sticks for each kid to bring home. That's the easy part.

Now, I'm not a great drummer by any means....I've played and gigged semi-regularly in my 90s/00s cover band for several years but I've never had a lesson, don't know any rudiments, etc.... I'm a kit drummer and would have to get accustomed to playing a snare only because I don't want to bring in my kit and that would probably be overkill volume-wise.

Here's my random brainstorming:
  • Bring in my snare drum on a stand. My clear acrylic Pork Pie because it looks cool. :cool:
  • Maybe bring in a pair of sticks, multi-rods, brushes, mallets to demonstrate the volume difference between each
  • I can get 17 clean buckets from my work. Maybe I can attempt to have them play "Simon Says" and copy what I'm doing on my snare
  • Maybe bring in 2 of my LED ThinPar stage lights and put on "sound-activated" while they play....because bright lights are cool, right?
  • Most parents take photos and post to the class Facebook page, but I could go one step further and set up a video recorder to capture their kids in action playing the buckets mentioned above
  • ??????

    Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions are welcomed and appreciated!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Lots of inexpensive rhythm instruments..Tambourine, maracas, wood blocks so they can play along. will keep their interests
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
This is from a 7th grade music book. The rhythm complex is pretty simple. Basically A, B, C, D, and E are different people. Each person has a different percussion instrument. 1-12 at the top is the time. Basically everyone counts to 12 in unison, and plays the note on their instrument according to the chart. So person A plays notes at 1, 4, 7, and 10. Person B plays 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11. Knidergarteners should be able to count to 8. Get 17 different cheap percussion instruments and assign each one a number from 1-17. To keep it fair, have the kids draw a number out of a hat. This assigns them their instrument. Create a few different rhythm complex charts that they can all play together. You keep time on your snare for them.

IMG_20191105_154009.jpg
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Let them make percussion instruments. I remember doing so from a oatmeal box when I was kid. But plastic pipe with rocks can make maracas or a water tree. Tin cans to bang on. Maybe a piece of metal like a triangle. Anything to bang on would be fun. Let them be creative and make an instrument then have a drum circle. Or if time constraints for making an instrument-you make a bunch and bring them for them to explore.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I take my drums every year to a grade school on a day they call interest day. It lasts for two or three hours about every 15 minutes I get a different group of kids. I have a full set of acoustic drums setup and I use an electronic drum amp for a sound system and play music through that. Most of the music I have bought from karaoke version that does not have drums. I'll do like an intro and a verse and a chorus to songs from several different eras. Sometimes I'll play from the lead part of the song to the end cuz that's a real exciting part. Usually just rock and Country cuz that's what I do. I try to pick songs that have totally different drum beats. Like some songs Just Lead with the snare drum, like Alan Jackson's Chattahoochee. Also pop rock song called Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down has a lot of snare drum activity in it. And I do some metal type double bass stuff. Shuffles and whatnot And then I will wow them with some chops have a little bit of question and answer time and then each kid gets to play on the drums for a few seconds before the class is over. They loved it and asked me to come back every year. Last year I did two different schools
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Maybe get 3 or 4 cheap percussion instruments, one that emulates a bass, a snare, a cymbal and a maybe funny sound.

Using groups of 3 or 4 kids, give each kid an ostinato to play, that combined, make a drumbeat. Let em hold that steady for about a minute or whatever, (under penalty of death) while you tap out the tempo like a metronome as a guide to follow.

Then the next group gets up.
 

AxisDrummer

Senior Member
FANTASTIC IDEAS. I've got a lot of options and I'll definitely be able to come up with something fun and interesting.

I've got to make this memorable for my 5 year old because 8 years from now as a teenager, she will want me NOWHERE near her school. :LOL:
 

AxisDrummer

Senior Member
I take my drums every year to a grade school on a day they call interest day. It lasts for two or three hours about every 15 minutes I get a different group of kids. I have a full set of acoustic drums setup and I use an electronic drum amp for a sound system and play music through that. Most of the music I have bought from karaoke version that does not have drums. I'll do like an intro and a verse and a chorus to songs from several different eras. Sometimes I'll play from the lead part of the song to the end cuz that's a real exciting part. Usually just rock and Country cuz that's what I do. I try to pick songs that have totally different drum beats. Like some songs Just Lead with the snare drum, like Alan Jackson's Chattahoochee. Also pop rock song called Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down has a lot of snare drum activity in it. And I do some metal type double bass stuff. Shuffles and whatnot And then I will wow them with some chops have a little bit of question and answer time and then each kid gets to play on the drums for a few seconds before the class is over. They loved it and asked me to come back every year. Last year I did two different schools
It's funny that you mentioned "Kryptonite." I've been playing that song in my cover band since my daughter was born. We rehearse at my house, and since she was 2-3 years old, she's called it "Superman" and could sing the chorus and is familiar with that snare beat if I'm playing drums only with headphones on. (Now she knows the proper name of the song.)
 

moxman

Silver Member
Reminded me of a funny story.. WHen I was in high school the Senior orchestra was asked to visit a local grade school (of really younger grades like 1-3) to play and talk about music. So as snare drummer the conductor introduced me and asked me to play something - and I remembered the thing that blew my mind when I first started out was watching a pro teacher show me the 2-stroke roll - really slow and exaggerated - left left - right right ll - r-r etc. and then speed up until its blindingly fast into the 'whip cream roll and then back down again.

Well a few years ago I somehow ran into a drummer at a jazz festival who knew who I was.. and explained that he remembered me from like 40 years ago from that demo - and it inspired him to take up drums. He's a world famous jazz drummer who records and teaches at Berkely now.. so show em the 2-stroke!
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Remo used to (and maybe they still do) do a kid based drum circle thing at their facility, where it was all very small kids.

One cool thing they did was teach the difference between 8th note feel and triplet feel using shapes rather than explaining note values.

Triplets with a triangle shape (tri-an-gle)
8th noted with a square (squ-are)

The leader would hold up a shape and get the kids to bang/hit/clap the appropriate feel. based on which shape was being held up.
It was really cool.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Be careful playing with sticks - little kids have really sensitive hearing!
Plsy a brushes pattern on snare and sing a kids song they all know. You can ask one if the teachers which song might be suitable. Getting them to clap in time, and also to clap back some patterns you play.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I think the operative word is 5 year olds.

I wouldn't go past 30 mins and have a plan with no downtime, like 20 mins or so with constantly increased interactivity and then cool off with you playing and singing some stuff for them.

Keep it simple, varied and don't expect kids that age to do anything in actual time together.

As it's a one time deal focus on entertaining and inspiration, not really teaching them anything except maybe the name of an instrument or two.

I did something like this 4 times in a row yesterday, but the focus was on singing and word games.
 
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