12 Fun Body Percussion Play Along Videos to Teach Music Rhythm Reading

Body percussion play-along videos are perfect rhythm activities for the elementary music classroom. They require no instruments or other supplies. Simply project the video and you are good to go.

Slip one in when you have a few minutes at the end of class or when your students need a change of pace. And, these simple, no-prep music activities may easily be delivered by a substitute teacher!

12 Body Percussion Play Along Videos for the Elementary Music Classroom

Build music literacy and performance skills with fun, engaging elementary music lesson plans. The music elements and rhythm patterns practiced in each video are included in the descriptions below. Enjoy!

Note: Be sure to preview any activity before you use it in your classroom and set guidelines for your students. A few of these activities have “dance breaks” which give students an opportunity to improvise. Depending on the amount of space and the configuration of your classroom, you will may want to provide a little more structure.

Sunday Best by Surfaces

With a moderate tempo and infectious melodies, learning and practicing a steady beat becomes a fun music activity for multiple grade levels. The positive message is a BIG bonus. Thank you to Music with Ms. Robyn for creating and sharing this body percussion play-along video.

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Steady beat

We Don’t Talk About Bruno from Encanto

This simple steady beat body percussion created by Music with Mrs. Kincaid is easy enough for your early elementary students.

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Steady beat patterns
  • Quarter rest (standard notation)

Cloudy Day by Tones and I – Easy Version

Bring some sunshine into your cloudy day! 😊 Thank you to Ms. Flatebo for creating and sharing this uplifting and energetic body percussion music activity. Practicing steady beat is anything but boring with this video.

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Steady beat patterns
  • Quarter rest (standard notation)
Cloudy Day by Tones and I – Advanced

Need a little more challenge? Try this advanced version also by Ms. Flatebo.

Be Kind by Zak Abel

This song conveys the perfect message as your students join in with simple body percussion patterns. Thank you to Music with Ms. Robyn for creating and sharing this play along!

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Steady beat patterns
  • Quarter/eighth notes

Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

Thank you to Jennifer Wentworth for this fun, engaging, and attainable body percussion music activity. This classic song by Stevie Wonder was written as a tribute to the jazz legend Duke Ellington. Consider using this activity to kick off a jazz unit.

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Steady beat patterns
  • Eighth note patterns
  • Quarter rest (standard notation)
  • “Dance Party” breaks

Happy by Pharrell Williams

This song will energize your classroom and put a smile on everyone’s face. The upbeat tempo makes this one a little tricky for early elementary. Thank you to Ms. Feyh’s Music Resources for creating and sharing this body percussion video.

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Steady beat patterns
  • Eighth note patterns
  • Quarter rest (standard notation)
  • Dance breaks

I Just Can’t Wait to Be KinG from The Lion King

Thank you to Music with Mrs. Gibbs for creating and sharing this FUN body percussion play along from Disney’s The Lion King. This video includes standard music notation along with body percussion icons.

Music Elements – Standard and Iconic Notation

  • Quarter note/rest
  • Eighth notes
  • Half notes
  • Dance break

Better When I’m Dancing by Meghan Trainor

This feel-good song will put a smile on your students’ faces even on a “rainy” day. Thank you to Irene Smykowski for creating this body percussion activity and brightening the days of so many kids and teachers.

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Steady beat patterns
  • Quarter rest (standard notation)
  • Dance breaks

Try Everything by Shakira

This fun and attainable body percussion was created by ItzMusicTime. There’s a GREAT message, your kids are moving, and they are practicing music reading skills! It’s a WIN, WIN, WIN!

Music Elements – Standard and Iconic Notation

  • Quarter notes/rest
  • Eighth notes
  • Dance breaks

Dynamite by BTS

Thank you to Mrs. Wade Music for creating and sharing this engaging activity that your elementary music students are sure to love.

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Quarter notes
  • Quarter rest (standard notation)
  • Eighth notes
  • Dance breaks

Can’t Stop That Feeling by Justin Timberlake

This is another song that is guaranteed to put a smile on your kids’ faces. Thanks again to
ItzMusicTime! for notating and sharing this fun elementary music activity.

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Steady beat
  • Quarter note/eighth notes
  • Quarter rest (standard notation)
  • Dance break

Bim Bum | Clapping Game Song

This catchy melody and clapping pattern are infections and fun! But, it’s tricky to master. Visual Musical Minds does a FABULOUS job of starting slow and gradually increasing the tempo.

The first few times you try this activity, just do it at the slower speed. Stop the video and repeat it a couple of times. As your students progress, try it at the faster tempos. Enjoy!

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Steady Beat
  • Changing Tempos

Conclusion

Who needs “brain breaks” in the music classroom? Our normal elementary music lesson plan activities are brain breaks. These body percussion videos are perfect for reinforcing and practicing rhythm reading skills. They engage students with positive messages and allow them to move and use different modalities, all while being constructively engaged.

And, play-along videos can be a lifesaver if you need a long-term sub. Bookmark this post and share it to help other elementary music teachers find it.


Thanks again to all of the talented music educators and creators who made and posted these inspiring, fun videos.

More No-Prep Video Activities

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