Stage 1 – Duration

Students create their own beat using their hand on their chest, neck, or wrist, clapping and making their own beat.


Outcomes and other elements of the syllabus used are copyright.


  • Students hold hand on chest, neck or wrist and feel their pulse. Is it steady? Is it fast or slow? Does it get faster or slower or does it stay the same? Note that this is their heartbeat. It should be steady while they are sitting down, but that it can change to be faster or slower. This is the same for the beat in a song.
  • Sitting in a circle, the teacher starts a simple beat. Students follow by clapping. Change periodically to incorporate feet, knees, elbows or head.
  • Some students create their own beat. Focus on not getting faster or slower but keeping it steady like a heartbeat.


  • Using hands or claves (wooden sticks), students make and maintain a steady beat
  • Teacher says a rhyme over the top and students must keep the beat. Highlight that it is steady and does not get faster or slower to match the words being said. Rhymes may include Baa Baa Black Sheep, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Engine, Engine, Number 9, Hickory Dickory Dock.
  • Read or chant Johnny Works With One Hammer and keep steady beat with right hand. Repeat with two hands, two hands and a foot, and both hands and both feet.
  • Introduce numbers as another way to count beats depending on the beats in the bar. Students replicate with clapping, claves or marching.
  • Show simple symbols to represent basic 4/4 time, for example hearts. Indicate that students will follow the beat by making a noise or movement when one of the symbols is pointed to. Use these symbols to demonstrate beat on board. In small groups students replicate with a different body part or percussion instrument.
  • Teacher claps a rhythm and students march in time to the beat. Change tempo regularly.


  • Play students a familiar simple song and taking turns in small groups, keep the beat. For example, half of the class sing a familiar simple song and the other half keep beat, then swap.

Biddabah 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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