Boomwhackers have been around since the mid-1990s. While they have been very popular in terms of sales, there appears to be many who struggle to find ways to adapt them into their music classroom. The biggest ‘beauty’ of Boomwhackers is their versatility.
Kristie received her first set of Boomwhackers as a Christmas present in 2005. They were intended to be just another addition to her vast collection of unusual percussion instruments. They stayed in the collection for 2 years until out of desperation for something really different to use she brought them to school. What started as a novelty item soon became the instrument of choice in her music classroom.
Kristie has no association with Boomwacker Inc, or any other Boomwhacker supplier. Boomwhackers have become an invaluable resource within her music program and she promotes them not to make a profit but because she believes strongly in sharing ideas and resources that work within a music classroom.
These tubes are a great addition to any music program. They can be used as pitched & non-pitched instruments, they allow a hands-on and physical approach to music - which allows you to appeal to and include all learning types. They are very durable, economical and have many uses: Classroom Percussion, Performance, Ensembles, Teaching Aids – the possibilities are endless.
Boomwhackers are easy to adapt into your existing activities so there is no need to re-write your music program. Boomwhackers are great for those short active activities that break up the lesson while still teaching the topic of the day. By adapting Boomwhackers into your current program you are making the old stuff new again and more appealing.
Even something as straight forward as reading rhythms of the board, using flash cards or echoing the teacher is more exciting to the students if they clap back using Boomwhackers. Instrumental teachers; if students are struggling with a particular rhythm and sick of clapping it over and over, give them a Boomwhacker, something old appears totally new to the student.
Boomwhackers can also be used for tuned percussion, so any activity normally used on xylophones, glockenspiels or even recorders could easily be adapted on to Boomwhackers. Perfect for melodic ostinato activities and teaching to read notation – particularly with the new colour-coded song books like Whack-a-Doodle-Doo.
¯ Any Ellen Foncannon is worth a look. I recommend Totally Tubular Volume 1 & 2 and while I have had to make adjustments to most of the activities, I found it very useful when I was getting started.
¯Official Boomwhacker website: www.boomwhackers.com. Good for getting more ideas/inspiration
It offers free downloads of handy resources such as colour-coded flash-cards.
¯ Don’t Clap This One Back (Poison Rhythm)
A well-known game; The teacher claps a rhythm and students echo. However if the teacher claps the poison rhythm of ta ta ti-ti ta or Don’t Clap This-one back, the students DO NOT copy (clap it back). If a student claps the poison rhythm, they are out. Similarly if a student DOESN’T clap a GOOD rhythm they are also out.
This game is great as a final Boomwhacker activity in that when students get out they return the Boomwhacker to it’s storage place before sitting down. This way when the game is finished Boomwhackers are packed away and students are ready for the next activity.
Missed one of the workshops but want to know more? Download the handouts or contact Kristie via e-mail.