Lesson 3: Clapping music

Children use their hands as instruments to explore rhythmic patterns in order to build the sense of pulse, inspired by Steve Reich's 'Clapping Music'

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Learning objective

  • To explore rhythmic patterns in order to build the sense of pulse

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

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Place in the circle near an adult or more capable child


Pupils working at greater depth: A strong child can lead one of the groups.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Sarah Frecknall,  
Music specialist
Sarah Frecknall is a specialist music teacher, currently working in a primary school teaching music from Nursery to Year 6.  Sarah started her teaching career as a Year 3 class teacher, and her music career as a professional jazz singer,…
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