The rhythm band is one of the primary methods of introducing children to playing music. Children are given maracas, tambourines, bells, rhythm sticks and other idiophones with which to beat out a simple rhythm while the teacher plays a song, usually on the piano. Alternatively, the teacher does not play a melody but also a rhythm instrument, so that only rhythms are played. Children can also make a rhythm band "just for fun" for themselves, without a teacher.
If the participants like very loud music, noisemakers like the pea whistle, the recorder head joint, the vuvuzela or the ratchet can be included into the rhythm band, as well as other very loud rhythm instruments like the snare drum.
Rhythm bands are usually found in nursery schools or kindergartens, but of course children also can make a rhythm band at home. Melodic instruments are introduced to the children in the first or second year of regular school. But in principle, a rhythm band can be made in every age, with more difficult rhrythms if the participants are older.
It is not uncommon for adult musical organizations to employ numerous rhythm players, as in Latin American music, or to distribute rhythm instruments for audience members to accompany a live performance.
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