Egg shakers are my go-to instrument for using in Singing Time! I love them for introducing a song, helping them get a sense or feel for the rhythm or beat, or just for a fun activity that has lots of interaction and involvement!
There are SO many things you can do with an Egg Shaker Rhythms, though. When I first got started using them I would just follow the basic rhythm and beat of the song, with very little variations. But egg shakers really can make a ton of different sounds, just from adjusting how you use them!
Today, I’m sharing the printable cards I’ve made to help you create patterns and sequences using egg shakers to get the most out of these awesome instruments! This is the 4th set in the series of printable cards perfect for singing time!
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How to Play Egg Shaker Rhythms Lesson Plans
If you’re just getting started using Egg Shakers or you want to see some examples of how other music leaders incorporate them, I’ve got a few posts to help! My kids always love using egg shakers and they are so accessible for all ages – 3-11 and even adults seem to love using them!
Here are some of the different songs and lesson plans I’ve shared for using Egg Shakers! You can start with using egg shakers with just the most basic Egg Shaker rhythms and beat structures, and then branch out from there.
I got my Egg Shakers on Amazon! You can make your own. I even did that my first year as a music leader. But the sets on Amazon are really affordable and are nearly indestructible (unlike my homemade ones!!).
Ideas for Using the
Egg Shaker Rhythms Cards
These egg shaker rhythms cards were designed to be very flexible! They can help you add more variety and method to your egg shaker techniques. There are so many ways to use them! I’ll share some of my ideas next, and then a few tips to follow.
– Stick to the Stanza: Make a beat sequence that follows the measures of the song and switches at each new stanza. For example, you might shake on every beat for the first measure, then switch to a different action or rhythm for the next measure.
– Explore the Beat: Learn about time signature and beats with a series of beat rhythms. You might start with following the song’s structure, such as 4/4 try a steady shaking pattern to the beat. Then, move on to doing a slow beat, only 2 shakes per stanza. Can they do a double time beat pattern?
– Listen to the Melody: Try a beat patterns that follow the lyrics and melody, rather than the beat. It’s interesting to see how different that feels and sounds! Switch actions at whatever interval makes the most sense for the song.
– Pick out Keywords: Look for a specific phrase or keywords and assign unique actions to those words/phrase. For example, you might do a caged shake for “Choose the” and then an egg drop for “Right” as you sing through the song Choose the Right with lots of that phrase repetition. Add another action for all the other words of the song, such as a beat rhythm!
– Anything Goes: Mix and match the Egg Shaker beat rhythm cards to create fun or silly patterns of actions to do with your egg shakers! Let the kids help you pick out ones to use and post them up on the board to help everyone follow along! Pick 4-5 patterns and use one per stanza, then repeat!
– Class Patterns: Try splitting your class into smaller groups and let each group make a pattern or sequence! Then, they can present their version and let the rest of the group follow along.
– Find the Feeling: Use the variety of beat rhythm cards to teach about the feeling of a song and the differences between beat and rhythm! If you’re still unsure of the difference yourself, head over to our Mini Conducting Course!!
How to Incorporate the Egg Shaker Rhythms Cards?
There are lots of different ways you can use the Egg Shaker Rhythms Card! Here are a few of my favorite, but you can also adapt and use them in whatever way works best for you!
– One at a Time: Introduce one action at a time, and use it through the whole song (or for your specific word/phrase). Add the pattern card to the board as you introduce the action, or after when you’re ready to add an additional pattern to your activity.
– Using a Sequence: Create a sequence, that’s easy to repeat throughout the song. Instead of having to map out the entire song with unique patterns, simply pick 3-5 actions, then repeat them in sequence.
– A Complete Pattern: Post all of the cards to create your unique pattern up on the whiteboard. You can add any important notes on the whiteboard below it, like maybe the first word as a trigger of when to switch or a simple note like x2 to remind the kids this action will be repeated for 2 stanzas instead of just one.
– Use the Contact Sheet for Planning: Create and plan out a pattern quickly and easily looking at the contact sheet! It makes it a cinch to listen to the music and plan out a pattern in just minutes with this helpful overview sheet!
– Have the Kids Make a Pattern: Bring the Egg Shaker Beat pattern cards with you to Primary, and have the kids pick one of the options! Slowly build out a sequence, adding more as you go, or start with a whole series, then pick out a new set!
– An Adaptable Pattern: Start with a prepared pattern to use. Then, after a few times through the song and some practice with the patterns, let the Primary children help you pick one of the actions, and swap it out for a new pattern. Can they keep up with the new twist? Having the cards handy will help them come up with ideas easily!
I store all the full size cards in sheet protectors in a 2″ binder! Works perfectly! I stash the 1/4 sheet size in with my egg shakers where I store those. That way, I have both files easy to access and ready to use!
Demonstrating How to Use Egg Shaker Techniques & Rhythms!
This video can give you a helpful look at how to use these egg shaker beat rhythm cards or just some ideas on a variety of ways to use egg shakers!
If for any reason the video above doesn’t load, you can instead pop over to my YouTube Primary Playlist for more ideas and resources and watch this video there! Don’t forget to subscribe to the playlist!
For other helpful demonstration videos – make sure you visit our Gethsemane Egg Shakers post where I show a sample of using egg shakers with a song. Or, get started learning about beats and rhythms with our When I Am Baptized Mini Conducting Course free lesson plan! It will teach the kids (and maybe you, too) a ton!
Egg Shaker Beat Rhythm Cards
My printable egg shaker beat rhythm cards come with two sizes in each download! You can choose to print the large or the 1/4 sheet size — or just print the contact sheet for reference when planning an action sequence!
The 1/4 sheet size has 4 different beat rhythm cards per printed page. This is perfect if you need to conserve ink or you have a small Primary group. It’s also really great for those that want to use the cards for smaller group settings, like one of the activity ideas we suggested above!
If you have a large Primary or just love to have big printables that make it really easy for everyone to see – you can instead print the full-page Egg Shaker Beat Rhythm cards.
The larger sized Egg Shaker cards are also really great if you want to just print the couple of cards you want to use of any particular lesson plan! Of course, your purchase includes both, so you can print both sets, if you decide to!
The egg shaker card set includes 30 different beat rhythm patterns and fun actions you can use with your egg shakers! This gives you so many mix-and-match options for having fun during singing time!
The printable cards set also includes a contact sheet. That’s a one-page look at all 30 beat rhythm ideas perfect for quickly and easily planning a fun sequence for ANY song!
Get the Egg Shaker Rhythms & Beats Cards
The Egg Shaker Rhythms Beat Cards are available for $7 through our digital cart. The purchase includes the large, quarter-page, and contact page printables you’ll have everything you need to get started making your own Egg Shaker patterns!
You can also find a bundle purchase with all 5 sets of our printable cards (dance scarves, ribbon wands, rhythm sticks, hand bells and egg shakers!) for only $25. Items are also available for purchase on my Etsy shop.
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What other fun actions could I add to these printable egg shaker rhythms cards?