It is common for me to ask drum circle participants to create and to share a rhythm pattern. This can be a challenge for the seniors and preschoolers with whom I work. So when Teach Piano Today shared a post on using paint chips for improve, this spurred some colored inspired drumming of my own.

Here is what I did

rhythm patterns Create a 3″x5″ card with the paint chip and the color name in large print. For clients with low vision this improves the chance they can see the color and maybe read the name. Limiting the color to one rather than several options is helpful in my groups. These cards can be laminated for easy wipe down.

Color selection can happen with participants making an active choice or by random drawing of the color from the deck.

The name of the color is stated then turned into a rhythm pattern for the group to play.

Some extensions:

  • Sequencing the rhythms . In my groups sequencing is easier and the group is more accurate when they say the color name aloud.
  • Layer the rhythms.
  • Create two teams. Each team selects a color. After they have rehearsed the rhythm, the team only plays when directed.
  • Teams or individuals could select instruments they feel reflect the color. For example they might feel the (yellow) pencil is best reflected by a triangle while bonsai (green) needs a low drum sound.

Share your ideas for colored inspired drumming in the comments below.


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