ES1 – Duration

Discuss music – What is it? What does it mean to you?



  • Discuss music – what is it? What does it mean to you? Student answers could include noise, sound, singing, instruments, dance, audience.
  • Discuss how music can be loud or soft (dynamics), fast or slow (duration – tempo), low or high (pitch).
  • Discuss how music has a beat – start tapping a beat on knees, have students join in. Beat can be fast or slow.
  • Discuss how beat mostly stays the same through the song or piece of music.


  • Play a game 'The rhythm in our name'. Teach students that our names have a beat which stays the same but also have a rhythm which is the different sounds in our name.
  • Students sit in a circle and go around the circle with each student clapping or saying the rhythm of their name. Everyone has a turn.
  • Tell the students they are now going to be an orchestra – a big group of musicians who perform together with different instruments
  • Hand out instruments – naming each one as handed out
  • Draw a picture on the whiteboard of a tambourine, a maraca and a bell.
  • Explain that the teacher is going to be the conductor. Tap a beat on knees and have the students copy the beat when their instrument is pointed to. When pointed to again the students should stop playing.
  • Explain we will all play together some of the time, and then at other times will just be playing with the others who have the same instrument. When students see the symbol for stop (show symbol with hands) they must stop.
  • Play a steady beat so students become familiar with copying a beat at different tempos. Then change to rhythms. Discuss the difference.


  • Clap some rhythmic patterns with hands on thighs (patsch) and on chests. Explain that this is called body percussion.
  • Have students experiment with making rhythms using body percussion or drumming on the floor
  • Choose some students to drum a rhythm pattern (on body or floor) which the rest of the class then imitates.

Normanhurst Public School as part of MyPL RG02217 Introduction to music within the K-6 Creative Arts Syllabus


Please note:

Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from Creative Arts K–6 Syllabus (2006) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017.

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