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A Round of Rhythms

Author: Patricia Rich


The U School

Year: 2017

Seminar: That's My Song! Musical Genre as Social Contract

Grade Level: 9-12

Keywords: ensemble, Spanish, rhythm, music literacy, Music, Mariel boatlift, karaoke, Jazz, improvisation, improv, hand drums, Tabadul, drum circle, djembe, Dizzy Gillespie, digital media, Cuban son, community building, claves, Charlie Parker, Artístas y Músicos Latino Americanos, Afro-Cuban, African history, African culture, Taller Puertorriqueño, Son Cubano

School Subject(s): Languages, Arts, Spanish, Music

This curriculum unit focuses on making percussion music using Afro-Caribbean and Latin rhythms. Students will make simple hand percussion instruments, study musicians in their historical context, and play percussion music in the ensemble of a drum circle. In addition to experimenting with rhythm instruments and music performance, students will also learn how to facilitate a drum circle as a community practice.

A Round of Rhythm is intended for use alongside a high school Spanish language classroom, specifically with students of the School District of Philadelphia in mind. As of October, 2016, half of Philadelphia public school students are African-American, another 20% of our students are Hispanic, and still more identified as multi-racial. This unit, then, provides educators with supplemental materials relevant to the cultural heritage of our population, and will allow students to explore the close relationship between cultures and the arts.

Download Unit: 17.3.08-unit.pdf

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