What I learned from… Kahoot! with Live Drum Kit

If you’re a teacher in a school where the students don’t have access to a personal device (iPad/Tablet/Smartphone) during their school music lesson, this is a solution that makes it possible to use technology to check understanding of your whole class.

This week, my 242 Year 7s were learning about the Drum kit. More specifically discovering:

  • What are the components of a drum kit?
  • What is the role of the drummer in a band?
  • What does the drummer need to think about to support the other members of the band?
  • How does a drum kit groove work? (including an opportunity for all students to have a go)

A couple of years ago I wrote about using non-timed Kahoot! challenges. Our testing showed students answered more calmly, thought more deeply and answered more accurately. This week I used that same function to be able to demonstrate a live drum kit example while they thought about each question – also giving time for students to discuss their answers and even come up to the front of class to look more closely at what was happening on the drum kit from different angles. They were fascinated! In my Friday period 5 class, they even applauded after every question! It was a great atmosphere for learning.

The content of what I was playing was very simple, initially playing each component separately and then using simple drum grooves and fill-ins. The students jotted their answers and ideas down on paper.

After I gave sufficient thinking and writing time for all abilities in the room, I gave the correct answer by tapping on my teacher’s screen. The answer turning green with the sound effect created the feeling that students were part of a live game show.

Have a go at the Kahoot! here

Following the Kahoot! we revisited the question describing the 3 parts of the drum groove and all students built-up the rhythm at the same time. (Tip: start slowly). We scaffolded the 3-part groove in this order:

  1. Count out loud ‘1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and’ over and over ensuring each word is exactly the same duration
  2. Continuing to count, tap (to feel not to make sound) your right hand on your left shoulder. Tap once per word you say
  3. While continuing to count and tap (and not speed up!), put both feet flat on the floor
  4. On the ‘w’ of one, tap your right foot toes (without lifting the heel of your right foot) and while continuing to tap your shoulder – the out-loud counting can now stop and you can imagine the numbers
  5. Now for the hardest bit – on beat 2 tap. your left leg with your left hand – this needs great courage and if it doesn’t work straight away, don’t give up. Just rebuild steps 1-4 and have another go!
  6. Once you’ve reached this point, you’re nearly there! Just an extra right foot tap on ‘3’ and then another left hand tap on ‘4’, and you’ll be playing the full drum groove.
  7. Using your new ‘doing 3 things at once’, play along to Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger. The most ambitious students should also sing the song at the same time!!
  8. As time permits, as students begin to master the right foot tap (bass drum), left hand tap (snare drum) and right hand shoulder tap (hi-hat), they can play what they’ve learned on the drum kit.

This is lesson 3 in our Year 7 Music Production unit.

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