Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hi! My Name Is.

In the past couple years gaining field experience through FSU, I have found that one of the biggest headaches comes from trying to invent an intervention appropriate for children ages 9 to 17. The middle school and high school age is a time when kids are overly concerned with what their peers are doing. And if their friends don't like it, chances are they don't (or pretend they don't) either. So you had better hope that your activity is "cool," with good music to boot.

This is a drumming activity that I picked up from a classmate, Shannon Kiley, in a MT drumming class. It utilizes a song by rapper Eminem from 1999, "My Name Is." This activity is a great socialization song, especially for introducing new groups.

Large drums for each child (tubanos, djembes, etc.)

1. Before group comes into room, have chairs set up in a circle with drums in front of each seat.
2. As kids come in, have them sit quietly at a drum while you give instructions.
3. In a simple 4/4 pattern, model hitting the drum on 1, hands off on 2, hit on 3, hands off on 4 at a moderate tempo. Encourage the kids to join.
4. When kids have the rhythm steady, chant: "Hi! My name is. What! My name is. Who! My name is."
5. When both rhythm and chant is steady, repeat chant using your own name: "Hi! My name is. What! My name is. Who! My name is ________________________." This chant fits into two total measures. (Listen to the actual song to hear its rhythm.)
6. Continue around the circle until everyone has introduced themselves.

This activity can be extended a couple ways.
a) In the actual song, Eminem scratches his name (a DJ technique). Each child will simulate this by playing with his or her name. For example, I "scratched" my own name to sound like Mi-chelly-chelle. Another example for someone named Jessie might be "Jigga-jigga-Jessie." Repeat the activity using the scratch names.

b) Have the first person start by just saying his or her scratch name repeatedly (without the chant this time). Build this by having each person chant their scratch name one by one. You can even opt to fade the drums altogether, so that everyone is simply chanting their name at once.

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