Easy “Hot Cross Buns” Rhythm Stick Routine for Music Class

by | Pre-K and K, Primary Activities

“Hot Cross Buns” by cellist Christylez Bacon and beatboxer Wytold turns a simple song into an exciting duet. Several repeating variations make it perfect for a fun, rhythm stick routine with your primary and elementary music classes!

Introduce the Song

Before jumping into the routine, I usually introduce the simple song to my classes. It’s not necessary, but it makes it easier for your students to recognize the different sections as they switch from one variation to the next.


I start with my students seated in a circle or U shape on the carpet. Then, I model the different motions before starting the music. I also count the beats for each move. This routine has 4-beat, 2-beat, 1-beat, 1/2-beat, and 1/4-beat motions, so it’s great for practicing rhythmic subdivisions! Use the counting system (counting, kodaly, takadimi, Gordon, etc.) you use in your classroom. Then, model the moves to the music with your students.

    • Scrape the sticks in half notes (8 measures)
    • Tap out quarter notes on sticks (8 measures)
    • “Bow the Cello” by holding the smooth stick perpendicularly against the floor, then use the fluted stick to scrape across the smooth stick in an 8th-note rhythm (8 measures)
    • Drum 16th notes on the floor
    • Lay one stick on the floor, use the other stick to roll it from side-to-side over 4 beats (16 measures)
  • SOLOS – Freestyle until you feel like ending

Freestyling in the solo section can mean anything you want it to mean. Here are a few examples of what you can do until the end of the piece:

  • Students explore different ways to play their rhythm sticks
  • Students take turns demonstrating a motion with their sticks that other students emulate
  • Students can put their sticks away and, when they return to their seats, create body percussion movements to the music

I hope your kids enjoy this rhythm stick routine as much as mine did. If you want a seamless way to teach this song on the recorder, check out my FREE Recorder Cat “Hot Cross Buns” Lesson!

Easy rhythm stick routine for "Hot Cross Buns."

Hello Music Teachers!

I'm Jane, and I'm here to help make teaching more fun and less stressful by sharing ideas for the general music classroom! I've taught general music since 2009 and now focus on early childhood music.



Boom Cards


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This