The human body is the original musical instrument!

 

What is Body Percussion?

It is simply using the body to make percussive sounds in any way you can.

 

Examples of body percussion:

Clapping hands; foot stamping; thigh slapping; finger  clicking; kissing sound with lips; tongue clicking; humming; grunting;  toe tapping; fairy clapping (two fingers); fairy tapping (index finger on table top); click fingers and whistle.

 

Body percussion challenges:

  • Use combinations of sounds e.g. clap hands and cluck tongue; whistle and slap thighs; click fingers and stamp feet. How many body percussion sounds can you make at once?
  • Try alternating body percussion sounds e.g. clap hands, stamp feet, clap hands, stamp feet; kissing sound with lips, cluck tongue, kissing sound with lips, cluck tongue – definitely challenging! Make up your own alternating body percussion sounds!
  • Create body percussion duets or a body percussion orchestra with a group; don’t forget to use a body percussion conductor!
  • Make variations of body percussion sounds e.g. clap your hands in different ways or use different techniques like cupping your hands as you clap – listen for a varying pitch and resonance.
  • Here’s a real challenge for older kids or for adults entertaining younger ones – make arm pit music; beat box and rhythmic breathing.

 

When do you start percussion?

  • Encourage babies not only to clap but to clap to the beat of a song. Most songs have a beat of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 1, 2, 3. The beat is the steady pulse.
  • Play a song, feel the beat, count and clap e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4. Count and play other body percussive sounds e.g. stamp feet, slap thighs. Children will have an added bonus of learning how to count and how to feel the beat in music! Statistics are clearly showing the correlation between music and making kids smarter!

 

Body Percussion Activities with little ones:

Body percussion Poem

I can hear my hands go clap, clap, clap.
And I can hear my feet go stamp, stamp, stamp.
And I can hear my legs go slap, slap, slap.
But I can’t hear my eyes go blink, blink, blink.

I can hear my knees go knock, knock, knock.
And I can hear my tongue go cluck, cluck, cluck.
I can hear my fingers go snap, snap, snap.
But I can’t heart my head go nod, nod, nod.

 

Clap the Star

Twinkle, twinkle Little Star
Can you clap the word ‘star’ instead of singing…

Twinkle, twinkle little clap
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little clap
How I wonder what you are.

 

Body percussion Activities for older children:

  • BINGO – substitute a body percussion sound for the letters
  • Little Peter Rabbit – substitute a body percussion sound for each animal
  • My Hat – substitute vocal sounds for summer, (breath out loudly), autumn (scratching vocal sound), winter (brrr vocal sound) and spring (click tongue).
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas – on merry clap hands twice # # (# represents a clap); Christmas slap thighs twice * * (* represents slapping thigh).

 

Write a Body Percussion Graphic Grid

Choose a child to be a conductor – they will need to point to each word (use a sparkle stick or pointer) at an even pace. Start pointing at the top words and then start again pointing at the bottom words.

# = clap

*= stamp

– = rest

Baa

#

one

Baa

#

for the

black

*

mas

sheep

*

ster and

Have you

#

one

any

#

for the

wool

*

dame

*

and

yes

#

one

sir

#

for the

yes

*

little

sir

*

boy who

three

#

lives

bags

#

down the

full

*

lane.

When you are confident with the graphic grid make your own using well known nursery rhymes or a favorite song.