Submitted by Brenda Stafford, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Idea posted September 12, 2008

I call this "The Name Game." I came up with this game in an effort to find an activity that reinforces tempo terms while building a sense of steady beat. I use the game with 1st-6th graders, adapting it to their abilities.

To play: Students stand in a circle facing the center. I walk behind them tapping claves. I tell them I am the "Keeper of the Beat." I begin the game but choose not to participate. You could participate, if you want.

The game begins when I tell them the tempo term and begin tapping. I choose a very slow tempo. I encourage the students to put the beat silently on their body by tapping their shoulder. After I establish the beat with a few taps, I say my name on one tap and a student's first name on the next tap such as "Mrs. Stafford, John." The student responds on the next tap with his name and another student's, "John, Brittany" and so on until someone is either too slow or too fast. the idea is to have a name on each tap. When someone misses, they sit in their spot, I give a slightly quicker tempo term and tap it. I say my name and we go again. They love that it gets gradually faster and I can introduce/reinforce "accelerando." You can reverse and go from fast to slow and introduce/reinforce "ritardando."