Musical Breaks

A musical break is a signal used to start and stop, from the main part of the song or rhythm.  A break is a musical substitution for shouting “1,2,3,4, go!” or “1,2,3,4, stop!” 

A useful tool for creating a simple arrangement out of a rhythm that the group already knows.  It commands attention from the entire group.

step 1

Explain that a “break” is a starting or stopping signal.

step 2

Have the students suggest a sentence for the break that can be clapped out by syllables. For example, clap out the syllables of the sentence: “I don’t want to forget the break” or  “Hey everybody, here is the break.”

step 3

Once the break is chosen, it can be placed into the song.  It must be different from the main rhythm so that it is recognizable when played.  One person plays the break as a signal to start the music.  

step 4

The whole group begins playing the main rhythm and plays for about a minute.  When the caller decides to end the song, s/he plays the break again and everyone stops together on the “1” after the break.  The 1 would be the ‘stop’ in “1,2,3,4, stop!”

step 5

Take turns calling the break. Try to make it clean!

Art Making