Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Steady Beat

Subject Area

Arts Education




The activity introduces the steady beat of music by using locomotor and non-locomotor movements.

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): KG - Music


    Demonstrate how a specific music concept is used in music.

    Unpacked Content



    • Steady beat
    • Long/ Short
    • One and two sounds per beat
    • Silent beat
    • High and low
    • Pitch set: So, Mi
    • Musical alphabet
    • Accompaniment/ no accompaniment
    • Like and unlike phrases
    • Echo
    • Speak, sing, shout, whisper
    • Solo/ Group
    • Unpitched percussion
    • Flute, trumpet, violin, piano
    • Loud/ Soft
    • Fast/ Slow
    • Age-appropriate audience and performer etiquette

    Essential Questions

    EU: Response to music is informed by analyzing context (social, cultural, and historical) and how creators and performers manipulate the elements of music.
    EQ: How does understanding the structure and context of music inform a response?

    Skills Examples

    • Perform songs of various genres while reflecting appropriate stylistic characteristics.
    • Purposefully move to music and articulate why they made the movement choices they made based on the music they heard.
    Reading/ Writing
    • Discuss, using musical language, the characteristics of the music they hear and/or perform.
    • Discuss, using age/developmentally appropriate musical language, what sort of music they like personally and why.
    Responding/ Evaluating
    • Share ideas about musical selections of various and contrasting styles, composers and musical periods.
    • Describe how sounds and music are used in our daily lives.
    • Describe the difference between steady beat and rhythm.
    • Identify and connect a concept shared between music and another curricular area.
    • Identify and discuss various uses of music in the United States and the various meanings of the term "musician."
    • Respond to sound with a drawing of how the sound makes them feel.
    • Offer opinions about their own musical experiences and responses to music.
    • Aurally identify flute, trumpet, violin, and piano.

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Students will perform a steady beat using locomotor and non-locomotor movements.

    Activity Details

    • Introduce the activity by showing The Music Show: Episode 1 video.
    • The students will show the beat of the music by gently tapping their chests with their fists.
    • Play music that has a clear steady beat and have the students mirror steady beat arm movements created by the teacher. The teacher could pat their lap, tap their shoulders, tap their head, reach up high, make swimming motions, or any other silly steady beat motion. The students will mirror by copying the teacher's steady beat movement.
    • After practicing a steady beat by mirroring the teacher, have the students create their own steady beat movements from their seat.
    • Have the students stand and march in place (non-locomotor) as the teacher plays a steady beat on the drum.
    • Have the students walk or march around the room (locomotor) as the teacher plays a steady beat on the drum. When the drum beat stops, freeze in a certain position (statue, football player, ballerina, monster).
    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher will observe each student's locomotor and non-locomotor movements to see if the students are keeping a steady beat with the music.  

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    • Have The Music Show: Episode 1 video pulled up on the computer connected to a projector.
    • Review ways to move safely by using self control and staying in your own personal space.

    Digital Tools / Resources