30 Ways to Play Rhythm Sticks to Songs in Your Elementary Music Classroom

Looking to add some excitement to your elementary music lessons? Rhythm sticks are more fun when you discover different ways of playing them other than tapping. Use these moves and play a song of your choice for an engaging way to keep the beat for your primary and Pre-K students!

30 Ways to Play the Rhythm Sticks in Music Class. 3 red and blue sets of rhythm sticks making an X shape.

Super Easy, Super Fun!

If you scroll down to the second video, I share 30 different ways to use rhythm sticks to music. Most of the moves were spontaneous discoveries by my students, who took turns choosing new motions. Here’s how I use them in class:

1. Choose a song with a strong beat.

2. Have students imitate you as you play the rhythm sticks in several different ways. If you can have the moves match the form of the song, even better!

3. Go around the room and have students perform a steady beat with the sticks for their classmates to imitate.

One of my go-to songs for this activity is “La Gozadera” by Gente de Zona ft. Marc Anthony. Gente de Zona is from Cuba, and Marc Anthony is American and Puerto Rican. The song is super lively and fun!

Here are the Moves

The YouTube video is divided into timestamped chapters. To look up a specific move, check the scrollbar or click on the hyperlink in the video description!

I know you and your students will create new ones I haven’t considered. I hope everyone has fun practicing keeping the steady beat with their rhythm sticks!

Happy tapping, and see the links below for more rhythm stick activities!

"30 ways to play the rhythm sticks in music class" with rhythm sticks forming an x shape.

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