Image by Tony Crider via Flickr

Boomwhackers are great fun. That is why each Wednesday I share a Whacky Wednesday post on Facebook. Recently, Kat Fulton of “Rhythm For Good” hosted a boomwhacker party and shared great resources. (Check out her boomwhacker posts if you want more information.) As I was preparing to share some time with some special high schoolers, here’s what we did.

After meeting the students we warmed up doing rhythm actions of what the principal wouldn’t allow (clapping, stomping, head shaking to name a few) to the tune “Mama Don’t ‘llow”.  The students created some great teacher don’t allow verses, too. This was followed by call & response body percussion.

I wanted to use our voices, so I introduced “Funga Alafia”. We then did some rumbling.

The rules for the boomwhackers were presented as:

  1. You break it, or abuse it, you lose it.
  2. You get what you get & you don’t throw a fit.
  3. We don’t know where the instruments have been. Ewww. Keep it away from your mouth. (Thank you Kat for this great one.)

Boomwhackers were distributed in groups with this being a chance to assess everyones abiity to identify colors:

  • Red (C)
  • Orange (D)
  • Yellow (E)
  • Green (G)
  • Purple – (A)

Some playing together and as a groups for different counts followed. Creative playing followed with students and staff having opportunities of where we could play our boomies. Wanting to use a song some of the teens might know, we sang & played to “We Will Rock You” the verses I had re-witten for these students.

 Here we are at _____High School.

Booming away like nobody’s fool.

We’ve got red, yellow, orange. Green & purple.

We’re playing our boomies like you’ve never seen.

I introduced a new groove (rhythm pattern) and the chant “Let Me Be One” which Kat had shared with the party goers. By then it was time to put away the boomwhackers. I closed with “Friends” allowing those who wanted, a chance to strum a verse on my guitar as I told them goodbye & thanked them for this opportunity to share music with them.

Have you ever shared as a guest music with a group of special needs high school students? If so, I’d love have you share your experience in the comments below.

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