These are fun to do to help the students practice steady beat. (It can be frustrating, also, because those few students who have trouble staying on the beat can mess up the whole thing.)



  • balls
  • sticks (rhythm sticks work)
  • bean bags
  • egg shakers
  • stones (smooth, small stones work best)


  • Have students sit (instead of stand) in a circle.
  • Instead of one big circle, arrange students in several circles of fewer students per circle.
  • Practice the motions of everyone moving hands to the right, then back (even swaying), keeping in sync with everyone else.
  • Walk around and help students.
  • Say words like “Pass,” “Pick up” and “Right,” even singing those words to the tune.
  • Slow down the tempo.
  • Only put in 1 stone/ball/stick in at first while the rest of the students pretend. Gradually add more stones/balls/sticks.
  • Add a drum beat (or xylophone bordun) on the strong beats.

See also