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Pound Ridge Music Students Are All Smiles While Learning About Rhythm

students sit on floor in class, drumming legs

Their smiling eyes said it all. Pound Ridge Elementary School fifth graders had a whole lot of fun while learning about rhythm during a recent music class. 

The class started out with a memory rhythm game that required students to read musical patterns on the smartboard and then tap that pattern out on their legs. From there, some of the notes were removed from the pattern and students had to see if they could remember what was missing.

“This builds your musical memory,” explained music teacher Lynn Donnavan.

As the game went on, students chimed in with the different methods they were using to remember the patterns. By the end of the game, there were no notes left and students had to pat out the rhythm completely from memory.

Once the game was over, Donnavan took advantage of the beautiful weather and brought students outside where they could take a mask break and sing while twelve feet apart.

 They stood in a wide circle and chanted a rhythmic song: “Jump in, jump out, turn yourself around. Jump in, jump out, introduce yourself.”

One by one, each student moved to the center of the circle and introduced themselves with their name, something they like and something they can do. When they reached the end, they acted it out and their classmates had to mimic their action.

“My name is Cora, I like karate and I can kick!” one student sang. Her line was followed by a flurry of enthusiastic air kicks before they moved on to the next student.

Before the class was over, they sat in a circle and drummed out rhythms on their knees again.

“Here we go, fifth graders!” Donnavan said. “Impress me with your body percussion!”

The class was a great example of how teachers districtwide are finding creative ways to teach engaging lessons while adhering to safety guidelines.

outdoor music circle at PRES students sing and dance in outdoor music class student drumming knees outside