Tambourine and Stick Info

People ask me about what hand-held instruments I prefer for teaching.

I use a tambourine with two rows of 8 jingles and a soft-headed mallet.

With the drum, I can cue starts and stops, freeze and move.

I can change the texture of the sound by playing the head of the drum with the stick, my hand, or against the side of my thigh.  I can play the side with the side of the stick, or my flat palm.  I can shake the jingles.

I can play a regular pulse on the drum head or side, alternating between the two to indicate a change of movement (e.g. from walking to hopping and back again).

This is the drum I use for “Drumtalk” when I teach children to listen for the different sounds and move to them: shake, freeze, melt and pop up.

If you want to order your own, here’s the info:

Tambourine with jingles

Remo Fiberskyn 3 (TA- 5210) Comes in black (70 is the product number for that color), red (52) or white (00)
My drum is black.


Vic Firth American Custom Timpani T1- General (VIC – VFT1)

Comes two to a package.  Each teacher needs only 1.


Best prices: Steve Weiss Music

Drum $26.95


Mallets ($24.95/pair)


Approx per teacher/classroom cost: $40 (excludes shipping)

April 22, 2014. Tags: , , , . Favorite Music. Leave a comment.

Foot Song

Once in a while I get an inspiration while the children are standing in line waiting to leave at the end of class.  If there are dawdlers, why penalize the ones who are in line? That’s how Foot Song came into being.

Foot Song is a way to keep children engaged during transitions such as the one I just described.  It’s also a fun song to use at the start of a lesson on teaching parts of the body or to shake sillies out. You can be in any group formation to do it.

Here it is, with notation.

Foot Song
(to the tune of Old MacDonald) – key of F

F                  C               D             C       A               G             F
I see feet that are standing on the floor, what can those feet do?

A     A#         C                      A    C           A#                   A#        A

Can they jump, jump, jump? Can they jump and jump? Can they jump, jump,


G                   F        (spoken or sung)

jump, jump, jump?          STOP!


Repeat with tap, tip/toe/turn. Open it up to children’s suggestions: kick, hop, swing, etc.

(Note: The more more kinds of movement the children know, the more ideas they will suggest.)

April 2, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Favorite Music, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Transition Magic. Leave a comment.