Sunday, September 9, 2012

Old House/Rhythm Review

I love the song Old House and I've been looking for something new to do with the song. It's a great la prep or practice song and I start by focusing on the call and response aspect of the song through use of a SMART Board presentation.

My SMART Board  lesson includes pages for students to fill in the boxes 
with just the melodic contour  shown with the words:
Additionally, there are pages for fill-in-the-box with the melodic patterns on the staff:

This year I developed a game to review rhythms with my older students. 
A few years ago,  some of our wonderful ROCKE members (now our ROCKE board!) presented a session at our state music ed conference in which they played Jenga while singing Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho. I loved the idea of using the Jenga pieces so I adapted their game for this song.

Beat passing/rhythm review reading game:

Students sit in a circle. A small wooden tool box is filled with 4 beat rhythm cards.
During the song the toolbox is passed on the beat. 
(We sing the "build it up" verse first so we can build with the Jenga pieces.)
The student holding the box on the last beat of the song chooses a rhythm card from the toolbox and chants and claps the rhythm. The other students repeat the rhythm. 

If the student performs the rhythm correctly, he or she recieves Jenga pieces to build the house in the center of the circle. 

I often tie the number of Jenga pieces to the difficulty of the card. A card with 16th note patterns or a syncopated rhythm is worth 6 Jenga pieces while a rhythm card containing quarter notes and eighth note is worth 4 Jenga pieces.

Bonus Jenga pieces can be earned if the student can answer a question about the rhythm.
"How many beats is syn-co-pa?"
"What rhythm is in the 3rd beat?"
"How many sounds is ti ti-ka?"
"Can you speak that rhythm again but change 1 beat?"

The students love playing the game and it's been a fun way to review rhythms and get back into the habit of making music!


  1. Great ideas! I think my students will enjoy the toolbox and Jenga pieces part, too.

  2. This is one of the great blog, I've ever seen and read. I am glad that I came across here. Any updates of this please? Thank you.

    Zummi of Pasig condo for rent