Samba and carnival sounds and instruments

Theme: South America. Getting a feel for the music and culture of South America, children are introduced to samba and the sights and sounds of the carnival. They start by familiarising themselves with traditional sounds and instruments, before learning about syncopated rhythms and then composing their own samba breaks in groups.

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If you want to have an option that is instrument-free then this topic is suitable for using body percussion only. Instead of each group having a different instrument, they would all have a different body percussion sound, for example clapping, stamping, clicking, beating chest, tapping cheeks with open mouths, or tapping their knees.

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Lesson 1: Introduction to Samba

Pupils learn to identify the features of Samba music, including where it originates from, the main instruments used and its dynamics

Lesson 2: Pulse and rhythm

Children revisit syncopation (playing the ‘off-beat’; initially introduced in Y3 - Jazz) and practise identifying and performing different rhythms

Lesson 3: Samba rhythms

Using untuned percussion instruments, children play a variety of rhythms in groups while keeping in time with the pulse

Lesson 4: Composing a break

In their instrumental groups, pupils compose a verse or ‘break’ which will form part of the performance in the final lesson

Lesson 5: Samba performance

After warming up with some call and response, the class perform their samba piece together