This fun beat vs rhythm activity is great for any upbeat song with a good tempo! We’re using it this month for We’ll Bring the World His Truth to help review the song. Make sure you scroll to the bottom for a video demonstration!
We’ll Bring the World His Truth
Beat vs Rhythm
This activity doesn’t need any props or extras, just try it a couple of times through yourself first and you’re ready for Sunday!
You can clap, patsch (pat your legs), stomp, snap, dab, or any other action.
I always start with singing through the song one time with out any activity. It’s a good warm up and lets us focus on the song itself, first. This time, I mentioned to pay attention to the way the words and the beat sound for our upcoming activity.
Then, I demonstrate by singing the first line of the song while clapping to the beat, like this:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
There are 18 beats above — 3 beats across 6 measures.
Each star above and hyphened word represents a new clap. I’ll ask the Primary kids if they think they can follow the beat. The beat represents the counts of each measure. So for We’ll Bring the World His Truth, there are 3 beats per measure. Each new line of the song you would want to clap, or patsch, 3 times. It should sound like a steady background beat that doesn’t change with the words.
Extension Ideas for Beat:
We’ll practice with the beat a few times through the song. I like to call up volunteers after the first time through to do it with me. I just let anyone come up who would like to. In Junior Primary that’s usually almost all of the kids. In that case, I just stand near their seats so they can still lead me conducting, but they love being up front! I don’t pick kids, just call up anyone who wants to join. If that’s too many kids for you, ask a class or two for volunteers and work your way through the different classes.
In Senior Primary you could extend the beat activity having a competition – have one side clap the first 3 beats, then alternate to the other side of the room for 3 beats, and back and forth.
When we’re all ready, we’ll then switch over to focus on the rhythm of the song. The rhythm more closely follows the words and the notes. So where you might most naturally think to clap – that is your rhythm. Here’s where I would clap:
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
This version has only 13 claps!
You’ll notice the notes that are held like “born” and “old” just have the one clap. You’ll hold on the clap just like you hold on to the note.
An Additional Challenge – Clapping for Words:
If we have time, we’ll move on to one last challenge. You can do this in Junior Primary, but most of your young kiddos won’t really follow it. Don’t worry about that, they’re having fun and clapping along at their own rhythm. The older kids in Junior Primary still really enjoy this challenge!
In Senior Primary, this extra challenge is really fun. It’s HARD and even I’ll mess up, because you want to throw extra claps in with the split words that carry over to the next beat.
* * * * * * * * * * *
And in this version, you’ll have just 11 claps for the same words, pretty cool right!
It’s really tricky, and a fun challenge, to try to catch yourself from clapping on the second part of “Nephi” and “goodly” like you will naturally want to do. “Un-der-stand” is the trickiest word in the song, but it’s so fun catching the kids (and yourself) misclap! Your errors help make you feel more relateable, so don’t worry about perfection.
You can try the Beat vs Rhythm activity for any upbeat tempo. Slow songs it feels like you’re just dragging along, so save this activity for your faster paced songs!
Watch this Beat vs Rhythm Activity
To help show you the difference, I recorded a quick video clip of the three different styles. I’m not a great singer, so just focus on the activity and how you can apply it in your own Primary!