The rainstick is one of those instruments I don’t bring out often, but when I do, it’s always a hit. We’ve been playing them in our Listen & Learn classes this past month, which means my “Rainstick Round” song has been put to good use.
In most of my classes, I use two rainsticks and give them to students on opposite ends of the semicircle. Each child has an opportunity to play the rainstick for a verse, and then passes it to the next child. Everyone gets to play both rainsticks AND practice those sharing/turn-taking skills.
Passing songs like this one are always a risky move when little kids are involved, but I think it’s so important to work on these social skills in music class. For many of our young students, it is their first time having to share and take turns with others, so it can be a bit painful (think crying and fit-throwing!) in the beginning.
In those instances, positive reinforcement — clapping and cheering for a child when he or she passes the instrument along — goes a long way. Usually, the whole group will offer their encouragement and celebrate, which usually stops the crying right away. By the second or third class, most kids are all too happy to pass the instrument to their neighbor, and look forward to the celebration they know is coming.
What are your favorite songs for passing, sharing and turn-taking? Share them with me in the comments below.
This song, along with 43 others, is included in The Essential Listen & Learn Collection, which is only available now through May 22. It also comes with my Summer Song Pack, completely free! Click here for all the details.