Today’s post is just a quick game that I play with my students. It’s a fun way to practice rhythm, reinforce listening skills, and the kids love the competitive element. And it can be adapted for any level!

I love to include rhythm echoes in my daily warm-ups with my kids, but sometimes they get old. So once in a while I’ll play a game I call “Forbidden Rhythm”. (I can’t remember where I first heard of it or what it was called, but this is my version.)

music class lesson learning rhythm game

In Forbidden rhythm, I clap a rhythm, and the students echo. For older students, I might mix in other body percussion to make it more complex, or even move to an 8-beat rhythm instead of the usual four. In either case, there is one rhythm that is forbidden: the students may not echo this one. If any of the students echoes the forbidden rhythm—or even starts to—I get a point. If none of the students echoes it, then they get the point.

What are your favorite rhythm games to play with your students?

Forbidden Rhythm
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