Composing with Movement: a beginner’s guide to body percussion – music lesson

Composing with Movement is a beginner’s guide to body percussion. Students start by making the sound of a thunderstorm with their bodies. Then, they play the Body Percussion Game, where they practice clapping, snapping, patting, and tapping to a steady beat. Finally, they use printable body percussion cards to compose their own body percussion composition.


⚠️You’ll need a recording of a piece of music with a clearly defined beat. You’ll use this during the Body Percussion Game. ⚠️



► Table of Contents

► Create a Storm Body Percussion Warmup

  • nine slides guiding students on how to create the sounds of a thunderstorm
  • reinforcement of soft, medium, and loud sounds
  • exploration of body percussion sounds

Body Percussion Game

  • A student leader guides students in creating different sounds with their bodies using a steady beat (your chosen recording)

Composition Prompts

  • instructions to create a body percussion piece
  • instructions to use the printable cards to compose

Drag and Drop Google Slides™

  • Slides for students to compose by dragging and dropping body percussion

► Printable Cards for Students

  • in black and white for easy printing

► Printable Worksheets

  • half-page, black and white for easy printing


Ideas for Use

Have students pair and share their compositions

✅ Have students create unique sounds with a partner to share with the class

✅ Break the class into groups and have each group recreate other sounds from their
daily life using body percussion (walking, running, opening a pop can, etc.)


Why Your Students and You Will Love This Resource

  • The body percussion warmup is fun, easy, and gets kids ready for movement
  • The warm up reinforces dynamics with soft, medium, and loud
  • Students get lots of choices to keep them engaged in composing
  • Students get lots of practice moving to a steady beat
  • Easy printing with black/white and half-pages


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Copyright (c) 2022 Jennifer Hibbard | The Yellow Brick Road.

All rights reserved by author.

Permission to copy for single classroom use only.