Get in the rhythm;Reviews;Books

24th April 1998 at 01:00
100 IDEAS FOR MUSIC. by Sue Berry and David Holdridge. 100 IDEAS FOR DRAMA 5-11. compiled by Gordon Lamont. Collins pound;21.99 each.

The strong step in the rumba comes not on the first beat of the bar, but on the weaker second beat - "one TWO three four". Few couples are able to keep to this pattern. But had they, when younger, performed some of the activities in 100 Ideas for Music, they might now be able to sway more sinuously. Activity 27, for example, 'Ways with four', is about learning to emphasise different beats.

A large proportion of the varied activities in this book concentrate on rhythm, although other aspects of basic music education - pitch, timbre, texture and so on - are given full attention.

The drama volume is similarly wide-ranging. There are the expected "social problem" personal, social and health education role-plays - 'Drug dilemmas', 'Ad for a dad', 'Smoking', 'Nobody likes me!'. Importantly, though, given the current structure of the national curriculum, many of the activities cross into other subjects, offering ideas for literacy, geography, history, religious education and science. Only two, though, relate to maths. This is a pity. The four rules of number, for example, are not difficult to illustrate by having children move around.

Both books have strong introductory materials and the music volume's are particularly strong, necessarily so given the fears of non-specialists. Both, too, have photocopy masters to support classroom work. Both books are worthwhile, and a cut above some of the "quick tips" resources on offer.

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