Basic non-locomotor rhythmic movement

Vivaldi: Four Seasons, Spring (excerpt)



This sitting activity involves tapping, wiggling, and moving arms. Non-locomotor rhythmic movements are especially suitable for young children. Since children may have limited command of the language, they are encouraged to imitate the teacher's movements.  

When preparing movements for young children, the teacher must first analyze the form of music. The teacher can then choose gross and fine motor movements that match the form and the feel of the music. Any piece of music that is between the tempi of M.M. 125-140 is suitable for this basic non-locomotor rhythmic activity (Loong & Lineburgh, 2000). Movements need to be simple and yet enjoyable.


FIRST - refer to VIDEO 1:

Here are some suggestions for how to conduct this activity.  Start by asking the children to imitate the motions for steps 1 to 7 below:


  1. First, ask the children to imitate steps 1 to 7 motions. SECTION A: The children pretend to be in the sun. They tap their hands on their laps and smile, using large and small movements to match the dynamics and alternating between two different dynamics by tapping their laps loud (using a strong movement) and soft (use a gentle movement). 
  2. SECTION B: Children pretend to see birdies flying by “flapping” their arms.
  3. SECTION A: Children see the sun again, tapping their hands on their laps.
  4. SECTION C: The snow melts and turns into a stream. The children wiggle their fingers and gently swing their arms from side to side.
  5. SECTION A: Children see the sun again, tapping their hands on their laps.
  6. SECTION D: The wind comes; the children make “whooshing” sounds. Then they raise their arms high and make a gesture for the thunder, followed by wiggling fingers represent the falling rain.
  7. SECTION A: The sun comes back; the children tap on their lap again.
  8. Now, re-play music, using limited words to guide the students. Let them find the movements for each section on their own.
  9. Play the music again. Ask these questions before reviewing the activity (can be the next day):
  • a. When the music was loud, what did you do? When the music was soft, what did you do?
  • b. What did you hear when the bird were flying? (Please note that kids might give multiple answers, there is no one answer.)
  • c. When the thunder came, was the music fast or slow? Was it loud or soft?
  • d. When we made the motion of the stream, was the music fast or slow? Was it loud or soft?
  • e. What did you learn from this story? (Good things will come after the bad weather - this is just my feeling at this moment during this difficult time.

SECOND - refer to VIDEO 2. Watch the video and do the motions.


THIRD, after doing the activity at least four times, you may play this game. This activity is appropriate for children above 6 years old.




Thunder & Rain

Mahalo, Cheyenne



C. Loong. (2006). The moving child: Materials for early  childhood  music  experiences. Perspectives, ECMMA, 1 (3).

Vivaldi: Four Seasons, Winter

Mahalo, Aunty Wendy

After listening to Vivaldi's Winter, do you recognize the first piece that the performers played?

This group is called a quartet. That means four musicians played together. Do you recognize these instruments? Click here for more information.

Children, do not simply imitate them. You have to practice very hard to play what they could perform now. 

Flight of the Bumble Bee

Tempo: Fast