Lesson 2: Exploring “Move Daniel”

Aim: How can we explore a steady beat and rhythmic patterns through the song “Move Daniel”?
Summary: Students learn the song “Move Daniel” exploring the rhythmic pattern played by the stickman.
Materials: Musical Explorers CD or online audio, Musical Explorers Student Guide, chart paper with
rhythmic pattern symbols, paper towel rolls, markers and/or crayons.
Standards: US 1, 2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5, 6, 7.1, 7.2, 11; GA 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9; SC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time Required: 40 minutes (one 20-minute activity and two 10-minute activities)
Vocabulary: steady beat, stickman, rhythmic pattern

Listen to the Steady Beat and Rhythmic Patterns in “Move Daniel”

  • Listen to “Move Daniel,” Track 8. With students, practice keeping a steady beat by lightly tapping your lap, knees, or shoulders.

    • In music, we call the heartbeat of the music the steady beat. Just like we all have a heartbeat inside of us to keep us going, the steady beat keeps our music going and moving.
    • I am going to demonstrate the steady beat for you by patting my lap gently like this “1, 2, 3, 4” (pat lap repeatedly four times). Now you join me and try it. Let’s count four beats together, “1, 2, 3, 4.”
    • Let’s move the steady beat around to different parts of our bodies. Let’s pat our shoulders and count aloud. Where else on our body can we move the steady beat? (Take a suggestion) Great! Let’s do that four times, but this time just count in your head, do not say it aloud!
    • Now let’s move the steady beat from our laps to our shoulders and back to our laps. Tap four beats for each one. First, let’s do it counting the beats for each one. Next, we will do it just counting in our heads.
  • Explain the role of the stickman to the students.

    • In the ring shout, the stickman is the person that keeps the steady beat. Brenton is the stickman for the McIntosh County Shouters, and he uses a long stick on a wood floor to keep a beat. But his steady beat sounds a little bit different–it is a rhythmic pattern of long and short sounds instead of one beat repeated over and over again.
  • Listen to “Move Daniel,” Track 8, and ask the students to raise their hands when they hear the stickman’s rhythmic pattern played on the hardwood floor.

Learn Rhythmic Patterns in “Move Daniel”

  • Show the students the symbols on SG9.

    • What do you notice about what you see? Are there some parts that are the same or are they all different?
  • In the pattern on SG9, the triangles represent a long sound, and the circles represent a short sound. Clap the pattern together with the class slowly with Track 9, and then faster with Track 10.

    • Are all the sounds the same? What do you notice about the pattern of the sound? (e.g. some sounds are short, some sounds are long)
    • Before, we talked about keeping the steady beat. We kept the steady beat by patting our laps and shoulders. It was just one pat over and over again. What we hear in the stickman’s part is a rhythmic pattern. The stickman uses the rhythmic pattern as a “fancier” way of keeping the beat. It is similar to the steady beat, because it also repeats over and over again and it keeps the music together.
  • Play the song again, Track 8, and invite students to clap along to the stickman’s rhythm while the teacher points to the pattern on the board.

    • What is something that you notice about the stickman’s pattern as we move through the song? Does it stay at the same speed or does it change?
  • Ask students to create their own rhythmic pattern using the symbols. Invite a few students to share their rhythmic patterns on the board. Draw an example that differs from the original. Have the class clap the patterns they see.

Create Movement to “Move Daniel”

  • Show short clip of the McIntosh County Shouters (see Audio & Video).

    • What do you notice about the way the shouters are moving in the ring shout?
  • Lead students in creating a circle, with everyone facing the center. Walk to the right so they know the direction in which they will be moving. Invite students to shuffle facing the center of the circle the first time the rhythmic pattern is heard. When the pattern repeats, turn your body out slightly to the right and do the shuffle, then repeat, turning back to face the center of the circle.

Slaves who sang the ring shout were not allowed to dance. So when they wanted to move to the music they would move by taking these small steps, making sure they never cross their feet one in front of the other because it looked too much like dancing.

Creative Extension: Learn About the Stickman

  • The stickman is a very important member of the McIntosh County Shouters. Brenton is the stickman; his rhythmic pattern helps hold the song together.
  • The songster and the basers clap along to his rhythm and add some of their own patterns, enhancing the music and liveliness of the song.
  • Ask students to think of someone in their family or community who plays an important role. This could be anyone from a parent to the president. Print SG10 and ask students to draw pictures on their stickman stick that represent that person and what they do for their family/community.
  • Invite students to play the rhythmic patterns they created using their stickman stick along with “Move Daniel” and “Kneebone Bend.”

Musical Word Wall

Add the words steady beat, stickman, and rhythmic pattern to the Musical Word Wall.

PDF Downloads

SG9 ↓ Download File
SG10 ↓ Download File