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The Drumbeat Poem

Annabelle was Peter’s friend,
Peter’s friend was Tom:
Tom was very steady,
Tom was very strong.

Tom began to walk,
At a steady beat,
Peter hurried after him,
Tripping at Tom’s feet.

Tom-Tom-Tom-Tom-Tom…………..
Peter-Peter-Peter-Peter-Peter……….

Peter quite liked Annabelle,
But Annabelle was fast,
Annabelle was hurrying,
Afraid of being last.

Peter-Peter-Peter-Peter-Peter…………
Annabelle-Annabelle-Annabelle-Annabelle-Annabelle………..

Annabelle’s big sister
Also came along,
Annabella hoped that she
Could also join this song.

Annabelle-Annabelle-Annabelle-Annabelle-Annabelle……….
Annabella-Annabella-Annabella-Annabella-Annabella……..

Tom and Annabella
Tried to keep together -
But it was quite difficult,
They had to be quite clever.

Tom-Tom-Tom-Tom-Tom……..
Annabella-Annabella-Annabella-Annabella-Annabella…….

Peter thought that Annabella
Ought to be his friend,
He ran along beside her
To achieve that end.

Peter-Peter-Peter-Peter-Peter………
Annabella-Annabella-Annabella-Annabella-Annabella………

Now that they are travelling
In a little group,
See if you can keep them close
In an endless loop.

Tom-Tom-Tom-Tom-Tom……….
Peter-Peter-Peter-Peter-Peter……….
Annabelle-Annabelle-Annabelle-Annabelle-Annabelle….
Annabella-Annabella-Annabella-Annabella-Annabella………

2002

This poem is to teach basic rythm.

Tom is a one-syllable word, Peter is a two-syllable word, Annabelle is a three-syllable word, Annabella is a four-syllable word.

Chant the names together at the end of every verse. The most difficult rhythms usually involve the three-syllable word Annabella.

At the very end of the poem you really need four people, or if you’ve got a class, four groups of people.

Clapping in time with the syllables makes it easier. :-)

You can find a website dedicated to teaching children about rhythm at http://www.brianjharris.com/

9 Comments     0 Pings

By Lorna Thu Jan 3rd 2013 at 11:12 am  

Thank you so much for this! I am a teaching student about to start my final teachign placement. I have never taught music before and this is just what I needed! Thank you so very much for sharing your talent!

By Esther Sun Jun 24th 2012 at 7:36 pm  

I looked for resources to help with this question but found none. Can you explain: is the word “Annabelle” (3 syllables) a triplet figure in the poem? I would assume so, but wanted to make sure.

By admin Wed Jun 27th 2012 at 2:30 pm  

As far as I know (I’m not a musician, though I started learning drums a long time ago and then stopped) ‘Tom’ is a crotchet, each syllable of ‘Peter’ is a quaver and each syllable of ‘Annabella’ is a semi-quaver.

‘Annabelle’ would seem to be a quaver triplet (http://www.musicarrangers.com/star-theory/t11.htm)

By Anonymous Wed Feb 8th 2012 at 12:10 pm  

Admin, I don’t think the definition of “Hell for leather” was the point. Only that Hell is an inappropriate word for elementary students.

By admin Thu Feb 9th 2012 at 4:17 pm  

Okay Anonymous, thanks for the clarification, I’ve changed this:

Tom and Annabella
Tried to keep together:
Annabella sped along,
Going hell for leather.

to this:

Tom and Annabella
Tried to keep together,
But it was rather difficult -
They had to be quite clever.

By annonymous Thu Sep 22nd 2011 at 1:33 pm  

I love this poem- however- I just finished printing it out and saw “Going Hell for Leather?” Not sure what that meant, glad I saw it and not read that aloud to the second grade class- probably a typo?

By admin Mon Sep 26th 2011 at 3:09 pm  

hell-for-leath·er (h l f r-l r). adv. & adj. Informal. At breakneck speed: “The journey back he made along the coast road, traveling hell-for-leather”

By Anonymous Mon May 18th 2009 at 11:18 pm  

This is a cute poem! I like that you can chant to it.

By kins Fri May 8th 2009 at 4:11 pm  

A great poem!

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