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Nonmember 08-04-2014 09:40 AM

After school boomwhackers?
My middle school is implementing an after school program this year that all teachers are "strongly encouraged" to participate in. We have all been told to come up with program classes we could run for 30-45 minutes after school a couple of times a week, and the class can be fun but must be educational in some way. I came across Boomwhackers, and they seem perfect for these kids! Here comes my question. How deep does your knowledge of music have to be to teach boomwhackers? I am not a music teacher, but I have a personal musical background (piano lessons, choir, band) so I'm not great with upper level theory, but I can read music. Would I be able to use these in an after school situation, or would I be in over my head? Keep in mind it's not an actual credit class, but I don't want it to be a total mess either!

FancyFish 08-04-2014 10:55 AM

I love boomwhackers! If you have some music background, you should manage ok. They are colour coded, and there is a lot of music available that's also colour coded (so you don't have to know/read the note name, but play your colour). You will need to be able to read the rhythm if it's not a familiar song. I've used boomwhackers in class over the years and the kids always enjoy them a lot. You can keep it simple or really go more into depth with them, depending on your knowledge and the students. Have fun!

Jojosoprano 08-28-2014 02:07 PM

Boomwackers can be a lot of fun.
There will, of course be a temptation for them to use them on each other. I would encourage implementing this for their culminating performance, however, you must first establish rules of boomwacker ettiquette before encouraging them to turn it into a full contact sport.

There are boomwacker books on the market that you will find easy to use if you have musical training.

I would also suggest that you set a date, such as an assembly at school to perform one or two pieces. This will give them some focus. Have students plan and Choreograph how they will play them for each piece.
You might consider a "traditional straight man" non contact piece, followed by full contact, which will be very entertaining for the audience as long as the contact is tight and not a free for all.

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