• Jenny Ferris

Body Percussion

As part of my series on short and easy songs that you can share with your students for remote learning, here are a few favourites of mine that feature some kind of body percussion ostinato.


The possibilities with these are endless - you can have students submit recordings of themselves performing the song as below for a sing & play assessment, you could have them create an ostinato of their own for a composition task, you could have them notate the rhythm of the ostinato for a dictation - the sky's the limit!


Moses Supposes

Moses Supposes is a fun chant (I say chant, really it's a tongue-twister!) which gives a clear sense of compound time - specifically 6/8. The ostinato is a simple clapping pattern to help feel the subdivision of two groups of three.


Bim Bom Biddy




Bim Bom Biddy is a nonsense song featuring three words: bim, bom and biddy (each with their own action). This song can also be performed with a partner, but in these times of social distancing, I have adapted them to be contactless!


Senua De Dende




Senua De Dende is a beautiful children's song from Ghana about a mother calling her child home. It comes with a syncopated ostinato and can also be performed in canon for an added challenge. It's a great song for talking about melodic sequences and the tone set covers a full octave (so it's good for older students practising fa and ti)


A Sailor Went To Sea Sea Sea




Again, this song works best as a clapping game with a partner, but in this video I have adapted it to be contactless. It is an accumulative action song and you can have great fun experimenting with tempo, articulation etc. with each of the sound effects.


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