I believe that rhythm provides the international aspect of music. I’ve hinted at this in some previous posts.
When you use music to teach English as a Second Language, focus on some rhythm-only recordings. Like other types of instrumental music, it makes your students think about the music. There are no words to get in the way.
It is obvious that I love percussion instruments. Ironically, I play piano but find percussion instruments fascinating. Piano, vibraphone, xylophone, and marimbas are percussion instruments but I really get into the world of drums, congas, timbales, tablas, and so on.
It is common to think of melody when you think of music. This is cultural. I’m sure in some cultures melody may not be the main focus. I believe percussion will force your students to think about music differently. I also think there will be less cultural barriers.
I will explore rhythm and language in future posts. I’ll also discuss how to use rhythm as part of teaching ESL.
Here are some interesting videos from YouTube.