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

Get your kids moving and engaged with these body percussion play along videos for early elementary and upper elementary music classes.

Home » Blog » Developing Music Literacy » Music Literacy Activities » 12 Fun Body Percussion Play Along Videos to Teach Music Rhythm Reading

Are you short on classroom instruments? Need to get your students engaged and moving? 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.

Turn one on 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 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
YouTube video

The Best Day Ever from Sponge Bob Square Pants

This steady beat body percussion activity was created by Music with Ms. Robyn and her third-grade students. Consider challenging your students to create their own simple body percussion to another uplifting positive song.

Music Elements – Iconic Notation

  • Steady beat
YouTube video

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)
YouTube video

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)
YouTube video
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
YouTube video

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
YouTube video

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
YouTube video

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
YouTube video

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
YouTube video

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
YouTube video

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
YouTube video

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
YouTube video

Bim Bum | Clapping Game Song

This catchy melody and clapping pattern are infectious 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
YouTube video

Conclusion

Who needs “brain breaks” in the music classroom? Our normal elementary music lesson plan activities are brain breaks. Body percussion videos will have your students engaged and moving while reinforcing and practicing rhythm reading skills. And the positive messages are inspiring and motivating for students and teachers.

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.


P.S. If you are counting, there are 13 videos in this post. I have a LOT of favorites. 😊

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

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