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And the Beat Goes On

And the beat goes on! Read more about helping young children to recognize the patterns in musical rhythms.

Activity 26: Recognizing patterns in musical rhythms


Pots and pans or metal bowls; wooden or plastic cooking utensils

Try It Out:

  1. Place the pots and pans and kitchen utensils on the floor in front of you and your child. Tell your child that you are going to pretend to be in a music band.
  2. Say, “Listen to me play my drum and then it will be your turn.” Hit the drum in a deliberate pattern such as bam-bam-bam [pause] bam-bam-bam. Then say, “OK, now it’s your turn to hit your drum just like I did—bam-bam-bam … bam-bam-bam.”
  3. If your child can follow the bam-bam-bam pattern, have fun trying different patterns such as bam-bam [pause] bam-bam. Or, bam [pause] bam-bam.
  4. Let your child set the pattern and follow what he does.

Making the Most of This Activity:

  1. Once your child has mastered a simple pattern, make the activity more challenging by making the pattern more complex.
  2. Make rhythm patterns using other common household objects.
  3. Listen to music with your child and help him find the rhythm pattern.


Was your child able to follow a rhythm pattern? If not, try using a pattern with only a single beat first (such as, bam [pause] bam) and then add more beats to the pattern.


American Institute for Research

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