Music Activities With Tambourines

Tambourines make it possible to participate in several music activities, even with a limited degree of experience in music. The correct way to hold a tambourine is by grasping the rubber hand grip of the tambourine with your palm on the edge and your fingers wrapped around the rim. The other hand is free to strike the edge of the tambourine with your other palm.


Play a song with an easily identifiable beat such as "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Have the participants tap the main beat, also known as the pulse of the music. The beat is the steady, equally spaced tempo that you can march, dance or walk to. If the participants have trouble finding the beat, you can help them by clapping or using an extra tambourine to play along with them. With enough practice, your group will eventually be able to find the pulse without help.


Instruct the participants to listen to the rhythm you are about to play. When you are finished, tell them to count four beats and then repeat the rhythm on the tambourine. Stop the group if anyone comes in early or doesn't come in on time. Tell them to come in on time, they need to keep the pulse in mind at all times. Gradually increase the complexity of the rhythm until the participants can no longer play the rhythm back.


Teach the class about different methods of producing sound on the tambourine. It is possible to shake the tambourine in rhythm, to strike it with the palm of your hand or use other body parts to change the sound of the tambourine. Practice a rhythm in which the participants shake the tambourine three times in tempo and then strike the tambourine against the hand. Let students experiment with creating a new sound by using brushes to strike the cymbals and brainstorm new ideas to create additional sounds on the tambourine.


A rhythm occurs when you have a single pattern of notes that repeat in a logical manner. Polyrhythms occur when you have more than one rhythm playing at the same time. To create polyrhythms, you will need a group of at least three players. Start a metronome and instruct the first player to play only on every third click. The next player should play on every fifth click, and the final player should play on every eight clicks. This will create a basic polyrhythm. As the class improves you can increase the speed and complexity of the polyrhythms.


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