One thing I’ve noticed when I give a child a pair of rhythm sticks is that it’s extremely difficult for him or her not to make some kind of noise with them. So I made a game out of it.
“If You’re Wearing a Red Shirt” is a simple, repetitive song that directs children in a group to play their rhythm sticks only if they fit the description in that particular verse. It goes like this:
The kids with whom I’ve used this activity get a kick out of the descriptions I choose for each verse — they are usually much more specific and creative than the very basic ones I included in the recording. Sometimes only one child will fit a description, and other times just for fun I’ll choose a description that nobody fits.
The best part is that everyone actually listens carefully and plays their rhythm sticks only when they should be playing. After all, that’s the goal!