Music classroom centers can be a wonderful thing if they are well planned and effectively managed. Here are a few tips for getting centers to run smoothly.
1) Noise Level
When creating music lesson centers, you have to consider sound levels. Music centers by their very nature require sound. (Duh!) Good positioning of the centers and limiting the ones that produce musical sounds – either recorded or student produced will help. If you can round up listening centers with headphones from the school library, some of the sounds can be managed that way.
2) Positioning Yourself
When given a chance, some kids will take advantage of the freedom and talk or make toys out of the manipulatives. You’ll quickly figure out which centers seem to encourage playtime rather than learning time. Positioning yourself close to them will let students know you are watching.
3) Help Intensive Centers
Some centers may require your constant attention. A recorder center, for instance, is a great opportunity to have kids playing music. If you opt for a center like this, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to what you have planned for the rest of the centers. You could be quickly overwhelmed. (This time intensive center is also a great opportunity for individual assessment.)
4) Effective Student Groups
Great centers begin with great student groups. Now that you’re into the school year a bit, you should know which students work well together, and which ones like to spend most of the time goofing off. Combine groups that will achieve your goals.
5) Time Management
The last step is planning the right number of centers. A good starting place is 10 minutes per center. So, if you have 30 minutes with your students, 3 centers may be the perfect number. As you go, you’ll develop a better feel for how long each center project will take to be completed effectively.
That’s about it for running centers. The only other thing I’d add is those folders with the flap and the stringy thing work great for storing most everything.
Resources for Centers
Are you all set with resources for centers? Here’s a collection of free and paid music theory and music composer resources from MakingMusicFun.net. If you like several of the paid resources the Unlimited Downloads for $19.95 a year is a great option!
Ultimate Music Theory Pack for Kids | Flash Cards and Games
Carnegie Hall Park™ | Basic Skills Music Theory Board Game
Flash Frog™ Flashcards
Pirate Quest™ | Basic Music Terms Game
Treble Clef Flashcards
Bass Clef Flashcards
Viola Clef Flashcards
Memory Game | Treble Clef Note Names
Memory Game | Bass Clef Note Names
Memory Game | Treble and Bass Clef Note Names
Memory Game | Viola Clef Note Names
The Rhythm Store™ Game | Rhythm
Nutcracker FunLib™ (Tchaikovsky) | Story and Worksheet
Nutcracker Venn Diagram (Tchaikovsky) | Worksheet
Peer Gynt FunLib™ (Edvard Grieg) | Story and Worksheet
Peer Gynt Venn Diagram (Edvard Grieg) | Worksheet
Peter and the Wolf FunLib™ (Prokofiev) | Story and Worksheet