Teaching ideas

Tes Editorial

* Don't feel you have to get all the "proper" instruments before you start.

* Do enrol in some percussion classes.

* Do start with lots of rhythmic chants, exercises and dance steps with your group.

* Do make a note of those children who have an innate sense of rhythm and make them section leaders.

* Do be strict with noise; Brazilian bands are very disciplined.

* Do find two children who can do the agogo parts with a little practice - once they are cracking on, the rest will follow.

* Do have fun. As soon as you can grasp the basics, stand up and move around the room. Samba is not static. Dance isn't separate from music in Brazil - it's all part of the same thing. So get dancing as you play.

Rhythms to use

Break down the rhythms into really easy parts, for example:

* Soudo SAM (rest) BAH! (rest) (the leader also plays whistle).

* Agogo WOULD YOU LIKE A CUP OF TEA

* Hand drums ONE (rest) TWO (rest) THREE (rest) ALLIGATOR

* Maracas (shaking) UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN (make this very physical)

* Tambourine WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS (rest) OK!

* Create breaks from any other chants you know.

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