Turn the World Around with Rhythm

Standard

Happy Top 10 Tuesday, everyone!  Yesterday was Earth Day, and I was inspired by it.  So, I thought it would be great to share a wonderful “Earth Day” themed activity for all of the Earth mamas and their families.  To begin, you will need a few items:

(1)  The song “Turn the World Around” by Harry Belafonte.  I love the video of him singing it with the Muppets, because he tells the story of what inspired him to write the song.  He was deep in the heart of Guinea and was listening to a storyteller tell about how the world is controlled by the “fire” (sun) and the water.  When you put them together, it “turns the world around.”  People, in a sense, are like the world, because when we really take time to get know each other, we, too, can “turn the world around.”  It’s a great song.  Here’s the link on Youtube for you to watch with your child: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLqb64Pb9So

(3)  You will also need a hand drum.  Here is a picture of one from Amazon.com.

HandDrum

Any hand drum will do, but if you don’t have one, the one pictured is available for purchase at this link: CLICK HERE

The Activity

This activity is intended for 3-year-olds – 2nd graders.  It will teach about rhythm, playing together with someone, playing solo and about African drumming.

Sit down at the computer with your child and watch Harry Belafonte tell the story of the song and sing it with the Muppets.  Before you begin, explain to your child that you will be singing the song while you play the drum and ask them to learn the melody and memorize the words with you.  You may need to watch it a few times in the row for this.  Here are some modified lyrics to simplify it for you and your young child:

Turn the World Around

We come from the fire (3x)
Turn the world around

We come from the water (3x)
Turn the world around

We come from the mountain (3x)
Turn the world around

Oh, oh so is life
Oh, oh so is life
Oh, oh so is life
Oh, oh so is life

Do I know who you are
See we one another clearly
Do we know who we are

Oh, oh so is life
Oh, oh so is life
Oh, oh so is life
Oh, oh so is life

We are of the spirit
Truly of the spirit
Only can the spirit
Turn the world around

We are of the spirit
Truly of the spirit
Only can the spirit
Turn the world around

Do you know who I am
Do I know who you are
See we one another clearly
Do we know who we are

Oh, oh so is life
Oh, oh so is life
Oh, oh so is life
Oh, oh so is life

Once you learn the song, demonstrate how to sing the song while keeping a simple beat on the drum.  You should not use the stick with this activity, as using your hands will give a bit more versatility with the instrument.  Explain to your child that drumming is often used in Africa to tell stories and is a big part of their culture.  You can even show them a few pictures of some traditional African drums:

Djembe Drum

DJEMBE-DRUMS

Conga Drums

Classic-Heartwood-Conga-Row

Talking Drum

DV016_Jpg_Large_501001.119.010_small_natural

Bongo Drums

african-bongo-drums

While your child is playing the beat on the drum and singing, sing along with them and keep the same beat on your lap.  With every verse of the song, switch parts with your child and slightly change the rhythm on the drum, too.  In other words, you will be playing the drum with every other verse and starting a new rhythm for your child to follow.  All of the rhythms will be in 4/4 time, because that is how the song is written.  You might add some syncopation though or move your hands in a different way on the drum to spice up each rhythm.  It is a fun way to teach rhythm, learn a song about the Earth and embrace African culture together.  Have fun!

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Top 10 Tuesday music activity.  For a complete list of all of the musical instruments under $40 that will help promote music education in the home, Click HERE.  For an archive of all previous activities, click HERE.  Please check back every Tuesday for some more musical fun that you can share with your child.  Until then, play on!

Advertisements

4 responses »

  1. Hello, First time to visit your blog. I love this content and surprised to know how African Drums are a lot ! Wow! Thanks for your share about these !

  2. Reblogged this on Tucson Songstress and commented:

    I’m teaching the song “Turn the World Around” at summer camp this week, and I remembered the Top 10 Tuesday blog post I wrote about it so long ago. For today’s Top 10 Tuesday, I’m bringing back this old post, because it’s such a great song to work with. Enjoy & happy music making with your kids this summer! Together, we can “turn the world around!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s