Lesson 4: Drumming away to Africa

Using a metronome to keep a constant pulse, children practice reciting rhythms with varying dynamics and tempo, before following the pulse set by the 'master drummer' on the traditional West African Djembe drum.

Before the lesson

Classroom resources

Learning objective

  • To play African inspired rhythms using percussion instruments 

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • Use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Give them the simpler rhythms to do from the Presentation: Drumming away to Africa, such as, ‘I am a tourist in Uganda’.


Pupils working at greater depth: These children need the more complex rhythms that include rests; for example, the ‘chicken in a vest’ rhythm.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Laura Barr,  
Music specialist
In her 14 year teaching career, Laura assumed the role of Music Lead, and was Head of Music in a large secondary school. Laura has a passion for working with children with a disadvantaged background, either through deprivation or disability,…
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