Category Archives: 2nd Grade

5 Free Music Lesson Plans for Steady Beat

One of the most important musical concepts that a child must learn is keeping a steady beat. It is a fundamental aspect that is often not given the emphasis it deserves.

What is Steady Beat? Is it the same as Rhythm?

Steady beat (or simply referred to as the beat) is the underlying continuous, even, and repetitive pulse that you feel in a song, rhyme, chant or any piece of music. It remains the same throughout, much like the ticking of a clock.

Most people think that beat and rhythm are the same. However, they are two very different things. In a song, the beat is what we usually feel like clapping our hands, snapping our fingers or tapping our feet to. The rhythm, on the other hand, would be the combination of the short and long sounds of the notes as well as the absence of sound (rests) that occur throughout the music. The lyrics of a song tell us the rhythm by the way the words are arranged.

Why is it important to learn Steady beat?

Humans experience steady beat early on in life. From the moment we were in our mother’s womb, we felt and heard the steady beating of her heart and of our own heart. We are created to respond to a steady beat.

However, even though we have been constantly exposed to steady beat even before we were born, consciously being able to recognize and demonstrate it is not something that happens without practice. That’s why teaching young learners about steady beat early on can be highly beneficial for them. There are many advantages to helping them have a good grasp of this concept, not only in music but in other areas of their life as well.

  1. It helps them develop lower body competency. It also helps them with their sense of coordination and equilibrium. Being able to keep a steady beat in their legs and feet can help a child walk, skip, run or jump easily as well as prepare them for sports activities such as dribbling or shooting a basketball, or other things like dancing.
  2. Aside from their gross motor skills, a child’s fine motor skills (the ability to use a scissor, a whisk, a hammer or any tool in the future) is also enhanced with steady beat competency.
  3. Steady beat can help a child with their reading and language abilities because it teaches them to have a smooth cadence.
  4. Studies have shown that even a child’s math skills can benefit from having the ability to keep a steady beat.

How do I teach kids about Steady Beat?

There are many ways that a child can learn to practice steady beat. It can be taught through aural, visual, and kinesthetic methods. Allowing the kids to see, hear, feel, and move with the beat through various activities makes it possible for everyone to experience steady beat in whatever way they learn best.

Here’s a collection of 5 Music Lesson Plans for Steady Beat that’s jam-packed with fun ideas that can be used in the elementary music classroom. Each one offers instructions for a fully-scripted lesson which teachers who are just starting out may find very helpful because they can simply try doing the lessons as they are written. However, it can also be used as a starting point which more experienced teachers can modify to suit their needs. Keep reading to learn more about these lessons for steady beat.

Entry Kentry | Free Music Lesson Plan

This fast-paced passing game aims to help students demonstrate an ability to keep a steady beat and also enhances their coordination skills.

Little Sally Walker | Free Music Lesson Plan

This is a singing game where students fulfill the first standard in the National Standards for Music by singing alone (and with others) a varied repertoire of music. It is a fun way to develop the ability to follow instructions and introduce the concept of steady beat for kids in elementary grades K-2 through a simple game.

Jump the Hoop | Free Music Lesson Plan

Children can demonstrate their grasp of steady beat through this team-based movement activity. This session also helps them listen to, analyze, and describe music– which is the 6th standard in the National Standards for Music.

Touchdown | Free Music Lesson Plan

This lesson gets students moving and jumping around as they develop their skills in steady beat as well as math. It’s a creative way to engage the students in arithmetic and musical concepts through kinesthetics.

The Wee Little Scare | Free Music Lesson Plan

This music class incorporates the use of a jump rope (a definite favorite among kids), a chant, and a contest to teach kids how to keep a steady beat. Students will get the hands-on opportunity to make music with Orff arrangement, and the activity brings out their naturally competitive nature in an entertaining and educational way.

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Monsters in My Closet | Drumming/Music Lesson Plan – K-3rd
8 Free Music Lesson Plans for the Elementary Music Classroom
Hickory Dickory Dock (Mother Goose) | Free Easy Piano Sheet Music
Polly Wolly Doodle | Beginner Piano Sheet Music

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Polly Wolly Doodle | Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Daniel Decatur “Dan” Emmett’s troupe of minstrel show entertainers known as the Virginia Minstrels first performed Polly Wolly Doodle at New York’s Bowery Amphitheatre in February 1843. Today, it is considered one of the most popular children’s songs in history. It shares the same melody with a few other kids’ songs including a well-known Sunday school song called O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E and the Barney & Friends song entitled Alphabet Soup. Other artists like Shirley Temple, Bing Crosby, and Alvin and the Chipmunks all performed their own versions of the song.

This sheet music is professionally arranged for the beginning piano student by the MakingMusicFun.net staff. You’ll be able to preview and printed the arrangement instantly and use the digital recording for practicing. To make music lessons more affordable, MakingMusicFun.net features MMF Unlimited ($24.95 per year), a subscription plan that gives you unlimited access to their complete library of sheet music arrangements like this one, music flashcards, worksheets, and games. With hundred’s of resources for the elementary music students and teachers on this site, it’s a smart choice for parents of young musicians.

Print Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Polly Wolly Doodle | Beginner Piano Sheet Music

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Lyrics for ‘Polly Wolly Doodle’

Oh, I went down South for to see my Sal,
Singing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.
My Sal, she is a spunky gal,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.
Fare thee well, fare thee well,
Fare thee well my fairy Fay.
For I’m off to Lou’siana for to see my Susyanna,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.

Oh, my Sal, she is a maiden fair,
Sing Polly wolly doodle all the day.
With curly eyes and laughing hair,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.

Fare thee well, fare thee well,
fare thee well my fairy Fay.
for I’m off to Lou’siana for to see my Susyanna,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.

Oh I like watermelon and I have for years,
Sing Polly wolly doodle all the day.
I eat watermelon because it gets upon my ears,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.

Fare thee well, fare thee well,
Fare thee well my fairy Fay.
For I’m off to Lou’siana for to see my Susyanna,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.

Oh, a grasshopper sittin’ on a railroad track,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.
A pickin’ his teeth with a carpet tack,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.

Fare thee well, fare thee well,
Fare thee well my fairy Fay.
I’m going to Lou’siana for to see my Susyanna,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.

Behind the barn, down on my knees,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.
I thought I heard a chicken sneeze,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.

Oh he sneezed so hard with the whooping cough,
Sing Polly wolly doodle all the day.
He sneezed his head and his tail right off,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.

Fare thee well, fare thee well,
Fare thee well my fairy Fay.
For I’m off to Lou’siana for to see my Susyanna,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle,
Sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day.

Need help learning your note names?

Most beginning piano students are still working on their note names, rhythmic values, and music terms, so I’m including a few links to helpful music theory worksheets, games and flashcards. All of them are printable resources, and a few of them are free.

Color-by-Note | Free Note Name Worksheet Bundle (Treble Clef)
Monster-Themed Musical Spelling Bee | Free Note Name Worksheet (Treble Clef)
M&M Challenge Free Note Name Worksheet – Treble/Bass Clef

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Related Beginner and Easy Piano Sheet Music Posts

Oh, How I Love Jesus | Beginner Piano Sheet Music
Skip to My Lou | Free Beginner Piano Sheet Music
Pick a Bale of Cotton | Free Music Lesson Plan for Teaching Tempo
Free Piano Sheet Music for Beginners (PDF)
Old King Cole | Free Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Oh, How I Love Jesus | Beginner Piano Sheet Music

The lyrics to Oh, How I Love Jesus are credited to the English clergyman Frederick Whitfield who was born in Shropshire in 1829. He first published the words in leaflets and hymn-sheets during 1855 under its original title The Name of Jesus. Afterward, it was included in his 1861 publication of Sacred Poems and Prose. He was known to be a prolific writer of poetry and prose and had produced more than 30 volumes throughout his lifetime. The refrain was not part of the original poem but was added at a much later point.

The exact origin of the melody that accompanies the lyrics is not known but is believed to be coming from America and is associated with 19th-century camp-meeting tunes. Other versions of the song used a different tune including that of famous evangelist Dwight Moody’s musician Ira Sankey in his 1896 Gospel Hymns.

This sheet music is professionally arranged for the beginning piano student by the MakingMusicFun.net staff. You’ll be able to preview and print the arrangement instantly and use the digital recording for practicing. To make music lessons more affordable, MakingMusicFun.net features MMF Unlimited ($24.95 per year), a subscription plan that gives you unlimited access to their complete library of sheet music arrangements like this one, music flashcards, worksheets, and games. With hundred’s of resources for the elementary music students and teachers on this site, it’s a smart choice for parents of young musicians.

Print Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Oh, How I Love Jesus | Beginner Piano Sheet Music

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Lyrics for ‘Oh, How I Love Jesus’

There is a name I love to hear,
I love to speak its worth;
It sounds like music in mine ear,
The sweetest name on earth.

Refrain:
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!

It tells me of a Savior’s love,
Who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner’s perfect plea.

[Refrain]

It tells me of a Father’s smile
Beaming upon His child;
It cheers me through this little while,
Through desert, waste, and wild.

[Refrain]

It tells me what my Father hath
In store for every day,
And though I tread a darksome path,
Yields sunshine all the way.

[Refrain]

It tells of One whose loving heart
Can feel my deepest woe;
Who in my sorrow bears a part,
That none can bear below.

[Refrain]

It bids my trembling heart rejoice;
It dries each rising tear;
It tells me, in a still small voice,
To trust and never fear.

[Refrain]

Jesus, the name I love so well,
The name I love to hear!
No saint on earth its worth can tell,
No heart conceive how dear.

[Refrain]

This name shall shed its fragrance still
Along this thorny road,
Shall sweetly smooth the rugged hill
That leads me up to God.

[Refrain]

And there, with all the blood-bought throng,
From sin and sorrow free,
I’ll sing the new eternal song
Of Jesus’ love to me.

[Refrain]

Need help learning your note names?

Most beginning piano students are still working on their note names, rhythmic values, and music terms, so I’m including a few links to helpful music theory worksheets, games, and flashcards. All of them are printable resources, and a few of them are free.

Monster-Themed Musical Spelling Bee | Free Note Name Worksheet (Treble Clef)
Carnegie Hall Park™ | Beginner Music Theory Board Game
Memory Game | Treble/Bass Clef Note Names
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Related Beginner and Easy Piano Sheet Music Posts

Top 10 Piano Pieces for Beginners
Pick a Bale of Cotton | Free Music Lesson Plan for Teaching Tempo
Entry Kentry (Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme) | Easy Piano Sheet Music
Skip to My Lou | Free Beginner Piano Sheet Music
Old King Cole | Free Beginner Piano Sheet Music

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Pick a Bale of Cotton | Free Music Lesson Plan for Teaching Tempo

Want a fun way to teach tempo to elementary-age students? Check out this free music lesson plan that uses the traditional American folk song Pick a Bale of Cotton to help kids learn different tempo terms.

Tempo is the measure of time given to a rhythm or beat. It refers to the speed of the music (how fast or slow it’s going) and is measured in BPM (beats per minute). Tempo is an essential structural element in music and has a specific effect on the emotional expression and perception of it. A slow tempo, for example, is often used to create an atmosphere of serenity or sadness, while a fast tempo can help express a sense of excitement or a feeling of liveliness and energy. Teaching tempo to your students helps them to master the skill of reading and notating music which is Standard #5 of the 9 National Standards for Music.

Music Lesson Plan Objective

This activity aims to help students become familiar with the different types of tempo (Adagio, Andante, Allegro) so they’re able to easily identify and perform them.

Materials Required

Print or download a copy of the sheet music for Pick a Bale of Cotton

About Pick a Bale of Cotton | Free Music Lesson Plan

The Pick a Bale of Cotton free music lesson plan provides a printable version of the fully-scripted session that new teachers can use right away. It can also help give a different idea and angle on how to approach the subject for experienced teachers as well.  The downloadable and printable lesson plan and the accompanying sheet music are completely free. The lesson page that this post links to provides you with everything you need.

Get the Music Lesson Plan

Pick a Bale of Cotton | Free Music Lesson Plan for Teaching Tempo

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Browse Music Lesson Plan Posts

Doctor Foster | Free Easy Piano Sheet Music by Mother Goose
Entry Kentry (Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme) | Easy Piano Sheet Music
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Skip to My Lou | Free Beginner Piano Sheet Music
For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow | Free Easy Piano Sheet Music

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Skip to My Lou | Free Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Skip to My Lou is a popular American children’s song that began during the 1840s as a dance/game of stealing/swapping partners and was often used as an ice-breaker in social gatherings. The game starts out with having several couples skip hand in hand forming a ring with a lone boy standing in the center. While the couples dance around him in a circle, the boy decides on which partner he will steal and will reach out and grab the chosen girl’s hand. The girl’s current partner then moves to the center of the ring and the cycle continues until the game ends.

This sheet music is professionally arranged for the beginning piano student by the MakingMusicFun.net staff. You’ll be able to preview and printed the arrangement instantly and use the digital recording for practicing. To make music lessons more affordable, MakingMusicFun.net features MMF Unlimited ($24.95 per year), a subscription plan that gives you unlimited access to their complete library of sheet music arrangements like this one, music flashcards, worksheets, and games. With hundred’s of resources for the elementary music students and teachers on this site, it’s a smart choice for parents of young musicians.

Print Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Skip to My Lou | Beginner Piano Sheet Music

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Lyrics for ‘Skip to My Lou

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.
Fly’s in the buttermilk,
Shoo, fly, shoo,
Fly’s in the buttermilk,
Shoo, fly, shoo,
Fly’s in the buttermilk,
Shoo, fly, shoo,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Cows in the cornfield,
What’ll I do?
Cows in the cornfield,
What’ll I do?
Cows in the cornfield,
What’ll I do?
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

There’s a little red wagon,
Paint it blue
There’s a little red wagon,
Paint it blue
There’s a little red wagon,
Paint it blue
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Alternate Lyrics for ‘Skip to My Lou’

Lost my partner,
What’ll I do?
Lost my partner,
What’ll I do?
Lost my partner,
What’ll I do?
Skip to my lou, my darlin’.
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

I’ll get another one
Prettier than you,
I’ll get another one
Prettier than you,
I’ll get another one
Prettier than you,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.
Can’t get a red bird,
Jay bird’ll do,
Can’t get a red bird,
Jay bird’ll do,
Can’t get a red bird,
Jay bird’ll do,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Fly’s in the buttermilk,
Shoo, fly, shoo,
Fly’s in the buttermilk,
Shoo, fly, shoo,
Fly’s in the buttermilk,
Shoo, fly, shoo,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Cat’s in the cream jar,
Ooh, ooh, ooh,
Cat’s in the cream jar,
Ooh, ooh, ooh,
Cat’s in the cream jar,
Ooh, ooh, ooh,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Off to Texas,
Two by two,
Off to Texas,
Two by two,
Off to Texas,
Two by two,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Need help learning your rhythms?

Most beginning piano students are still working on understanding the value of each rhythm in their music, so I’m including a few links to helpful printable music theory worksheets, games, and flashcards.

Clown Fish | Free Color-Me-Rhythmic Worksheet
It All Adds Up! | Free Music Rhythm Worksheet Five (Quarter/Eighth/Sixteenth)
The Rhythm Store™ | Beginner Music Theory Shopping Game

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Old King Cole | Free Beginner Piano Sheet Music

The English nursery rhyme Old King Cole originally came from Britain and was first attested in 1708 in Useful Transactions in Philosophy by William King. There have been many speculations about who the rhyme is referring to, but none have been proven so far.

This sheet music is professionally arranged for the beginning piano student by the MakingMusicFun.net staff. You’ll be able to preview and printed the arrangement instantly and use the digital recording for practicing. To make music lessons more affordable, MakingMusicFun.net features MMF Unlimited ($24.95 per year), a subscription plan that gives you unlimited access to their complete library of sheet music arrangements like this one, music flashcards, worksheets, and games. With hundred’s of resources for the elementary music students and teachers on this site, it’s a smart choice for parents of young musicians.

Print Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Old King Cole | Beginner Piano Sheet Music

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Lyrics for ‘Old King Cole

William King’s original version has the following lyrics:

Good King Cole,
And he call’d for his Bowle,
And he call’d for Fidler’s three;
And there was Fiddle, Fiddle,
And twice Fiddle, Fiddle,
For ’twas my Lady’s Birth-day,
Therefore we keep Holy-day
And come to be merry.

(The more modern versions of the song have these lyrics:)

Old King Cole
Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;

He called for his pipe,
And he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three!

And every fiddler, he had a fine fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he.
“Twee tweedle dee, tweedle dee, went the fiddlers.

Oh, there’s none so rare
As can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

Need help learning your note names?

Most beginning piano students are still working on their note names, rhythmic values, and music terms, so I’m including a few links to helpful music theory worksheets, games, and flashcards. All of them are printable resources, and a few of them are free.

Color That Note! | Free Note Name Worksheet | Treble Clef – C Position
I Thought That I Was Crazy | Treble Clef Note Names
Music Flashcards for the Bass Clef
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All the Pretty Little Horses | Free Beginner Piano Sheet Music

All the Pretty Little Horses is a traditional American lullaby which is very popular especially among mothers and caretakers who sing their babies to sleep with this simple but beautiful melody. The exact story of how the song was created has not been identified, but it is commonly believed to be of African-American origin.

The song has inspired numerous renditions and adaptations throughout the years including those from Olivia Newton-John, Kenny Loggins, Charlotte Church and Peter, Paul and Mary. It has also been referenced in several literary works such as Cormac McCarthy’s 1992 novel All The Pretty Horses which received many awards and accolades.

This sheet music is professionally arranged for the beginning piano student by the MakingMusicFun.net staff. You’ll be able to preview and print the arrangement instantly and use the digital recording for practicing. To make music lessons more affordable, MakingMusicFun.net features MMF Unlimited ($24.95 per year), a subscription plan that gives you unlimited access to their complete library of sheet music arrangements like this one, as well as music flashcards, worksheets, and games. With hundreds of resources for the elementary music students and teachers on this site, it’s a smart choice for parents of young musicians.

Print Beginner Piano Sheet Music

All the Pretty Little Horses | Beginner Piano Sheet Music

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Lyrics for ‘All the Pretty Little Horses’

Hush-a-bye, Don’t you cry
Go to sleep, my little baby
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses
Dapples and grays, blacks and bays
All the pretty little horses
Hush-a-bye, Don’t you cry
Go to sleep little baby
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses
Dapples and grays, blacks and bays
All the pretty little horses

Need help learning your note names?

Most beginning piano students are still working on their note names, rhythmic values, and music terms, so I’m including a few links to helpful music theory worksheets, games, and flashcards. All of them are printable resources, and a few of them are free.

Color-by-Note | Free Note Name Worksheet Bundle (Treble Clef)
Monster-Themed Musical Spelling Bee | Free Note Name Worksheet (Treble Clef)
Musical Spelling Bee | Free Note Name Worksheet (Treble Clef)
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