Complementary Rhythm Compositions

Rhythm picture stories!

Second graders collaborate to create a rhythm story: Ask your child to tell you how to say each of these picture rhythms. See if you can choose a different order and clap the rhythms without missing a beat!

You've just composed a rhythm! Now play it on a percussion instrument, and try to play it while three other groups play their different rhythm at the same time. The rhythms fit together in time like a puzzle. This is called "complementary rhythm."

Listen to a second grade class perform four of their own layered complementary rhythms in during a class composition activity on my blog .

Their next step will be to compose a melody for their story rhythm.

In the upcoming weeks, we will be composing music to accompany a story by Kathryn Otoshi called "One." The story addresses the issue of bullying in a beautiful and inclusive way. Using the text and descriptions of each color character, our composers will create music, movement and sounds that help tell the story of how bystanders and the target learned to say "NO" when they encounter bullying.