Clapping musical patterns

Music is all about patterns. In this activity, you'll create and perform clapping or body percussion patterns to your favourite songs. For more information, refer to Patterns in everyday activities.

30 mins


25 February 2021

Things you need

  • Music player or phone

Step 1

Ask your child what their favourite songs are, then play them out loud. Pick one that has a repeating beat.

Tip: Queen’s 'We Will Rock You' has a great beat to clap to.


Step 2

Encourage your child to make up a clapping or body percussion pattern to the song’s first verse or chorus, noting that the sequence must be repeated at least three times to form a pattern.

Then, ask your child to perform their pattern to you and see if you can follow along.

Body percussion includes tapping your knees, rubbing your hands together or clicking to create sounds.


Step 3

Practice the pattern with the song until you both feel confident in your performance. Then turn the audio off and see how long you can clap until you make a mistake. Laughing is positively encouraged if it goes wildly off-pattern!

You might also want to challenge your child to create patterns to songs that you both know and see if you can successfully guess the song they’re clapping to.


The conversation

Ask your child why they think so many songs are built on patterns. Is this what makes them so catchy? 

This activity will help your child create and recognise patterns. They'll also learn that patterns are hidden all around us, especially in music.