Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Card Music Rhythms

While looking through old Christmas cards from last year, a thought came to mind.  
Wouldn't it be great to recycle these cards and use them in music class?
The answer was "yes", so the journey began to think of the "how to do it" part.
Christmas Card Rhythms
The thought was to play a game called "Christmas Card Rhythms". Each student would take a recycled Christmas card from the decorated holiday gift bag. (You can use cards from past Christmas' from friends or family. Or you can buy seasonal cards at a discount after the holiday is over.)
 The kids who do not celebrate Christmas enjoy learning about the tradition of sending cards to family & friends for this holiday.
Once the student has taken a card from they bag, they are to look at the card and silently read the rhythm written on the inside.  After the students have practiced the rhythms in their heads, they will then choose a partner & share their rhythm.  
Christmas Music Game
This activity is a great way to have the kids practice rhythms & share what they have learned with their friends.  Here are some extension ideas that can be done with this game.
1. Students can partner with a friend to combine their card rhythms & create movements & share their creations with the class.
2.  As a mixer, students would keep saying their rhythm while walking around the room & try to find another student with the same rhythm. This would be a great way to have students to work with someone different than their best friends.
3. The teacher can play the rhythm on the drum & students can identify if it was their rhythm.
4.  Students can choose non-pitched instruments to play the rhythms. Or each card can have the name of a non-pitched instrument on the card for the students to play.
5. Students can add pitch to the rhythm on the card & play it on a pitched instrument. Maybe the students can be told to create ascending or descending pitches for the project.
Additionally, older students could have more challenging rhythms written on the cards.

Any of these ideas can be used in conjunction with the Christmas songs in the Making Music series.  
If you have any other ideas you would like to share for this activity, 
please comment so we can learn & share with each other. 
Merry Christmas!


  1. Fun idea. I did this in my music class & the students enjoyed the project. I was able to walk around the room & assess if they were able to clap out the rhythm.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment! Glad you had fun doing this lesson with your students.