Submitted by Debbie Rice, Mobile, Alabama

Idea posted February 1, 2002

When distributing classroom rhythm instruments, I ask the first person to receive an instrument to sit on my stool and begin "echo rhythms." When the next person gets his/her instrument, he/she begins to echo. The "leader" continues to give rhythms for them to echo. As each child gets an instrument, he or she joins in the echoes. As more children get instruments, the sound grows. This can be done with like or different instruments.

If the leader runs out of rhythms, choose another leader.

In younger classes or those not comfortable with independent rhythms, I have music with a good beat playing. As soon as the child gets the instrument, he or she joins in to the steady beat. This gives kids the chance to "check out the sound" immediately. As with the other group, it's fun to hear the sound grow as each instrument is added. They stop playing when the music stops and are ready for your instructions for the activity you have planned.