Category Archives: 6th Grade

8 Music Lessons for the Music Classroom | Free Lesson Plans

If you want to incorporate active, hands-on lessons into your music classroom, take a look at these 8 free lesson plans for elementary music. Each plan will have your students out of their seats and interacting meaningfully with music– no pencils or paper required.

Melody Map | An Introduction to Melodic Contour/Grade 2-4

This simple but effective high and low lesson plan can be completed with the song of your choice. Students first use hand movement to reflect the high and low notes they hear. Then, they progress to using yarn to map the highs and lows on the classroom floor. The movement and manipulation of the yarn will help solidify student’s understanding that the sounds of music can be represented visually.

Hungarian Dance No.5 | AABBCDAB Codetta/Grade 2-6

Musical form takes on a baseball theme in this active lesson plan. Each section of the piece becomes associated with its own baseball game-related action, leading to lots of movement and a memorable introduction (or review) to musical form.

Meter, Meter, 3-4-5 | Meter Activity/Grade 2-4

Round up some playground balls and rhythm sticks for this time signature/ meter lesson. This rhythmic lesson is perfect for either introducing or reinforcing the concept of meter and the “patterns” of common time signatures.

Entry Kentry | A Passing Game/Grade 2-6

Students can have fun while practicing steady beat with this hot-potato style game. Passing must happen on the beat, and eliminated students help keep the beat with rhythm instruments.

Mortimer | An Introduction to Solfege/Grade 2-3

Introduce solfege with this book-based lesson. The stairs in the story provide a perfect opportunity to learn and repeat the scale pattern, while glockenspiels and other non-pitched instruments make students participants in the musical story.

Music Symbol Swat | Music Symbol Swat Game/ Grade 3-5

With just a white board and fly swatters, you’ve got a great review game that can be applied to many musical concepts. Potential answers, such as musical symbols, are displayed visually, and when a definition or question is given, competitors race to swat the correct answer.

Viennese Musical Clock (Kodaly) | Rondo/Grade 2-3

This multi-faceted movement lesson takes a little prep and a bit of patience, but it results in an unforgettable illustrating rondo form. The lesson begins with a helpful hamburger illustration to introduce the form. Then, a complex movement activity lets students act out the form as a live Viennese clock.

Zin, Zin, Zin A Violin | Musical Instrument Identification Game/Grade 2-6

The book, Zin, Zin, Zin A Violin, is used with visual support to introduce 10 orchestral instruments. Then, a racing instrumental identification game is used to review them.

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Printable Piano Books for Kids

Learning to play the piano used to require a trip to the nearest music store– sometimes not so nearby– and a considerable investment in piano method books. Now, music books for beginning piano and beyond are available to print instantly, and often much more affordably, than traditionally published piano books. Printable piano books offer the convenience of printable sheet music with the cohesion and progression of a lesson book. Wherever your students’ piano skill level or interests lie, there’s a printable piano book that will capture their interest and advance their skills.

Piano Books for Beginners

MMF! All-In-One Piano Primer Book for the Young Beginner (33 Page PDF/ Digital Download)

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This book is the perfect starting point for young students with no previous experience. Starting with the most basic note names and rhythms, this guide carefully builds from just one right hand note. Rhythms and dynamics remain limited so that students can build confidence as they walk through a progression of songs carefully crafted to build skills and confidence. Engaging worksheets are also interspersed with the songs to help students solidify the concepts they need to know. The short pieces and variety will keep kids eager to turn the page, and before they know it, they’ll be receiving the certificate of completion that comes at the end of the book!

MMF! All-In-One Beginner Piano Book | Level 1A  (31 Page PDF/ Digital Download)

mmf-piano-book.jpgThis piano book is also designed for beginners, but moves a bit more quickly than the previous book. This would be a great choice for slightly older beginners. Students who completed the primer could review and expand their knowledge of piano basics with this book as well. Partner pieces give students the opportunity to focus on one skill at a time, allowing them to see the same concept applied in two different contexts. Songs and worksheets are short, varied, and strategically paired and sequenced so that students experience maximum success and mastery.

 

Meet the Composer Series

As young pianists progress, they may be ready to meet classic composers sooner than you’d expect. With well-crafted arrangements, some of the greatest classical pieces can be accessible at an easy/ intermediate level. But instead of spending hours searching for the right arrangements to cobble together a collection of classics, try these ready-made printable books. Each book in the series includes a kid-friendly biography of the composer along with several of their most famous works. The arrangements are approachable for kids but retain the well-known melodies and harmonies that make these pieces so timeless and memorable.

Beethoven | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 1 (17 Page PDF/ Digital Download)
Highlights: Ode to Joy, Beethoven’s Fifth, and Moonlight Sonata.

Mozart | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 2 (22 Page PDF/ Digital Download)
Highlights: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (Theme from Ah, vous dirai-je Maman), Marriage of Figaro, and Turkish March.

Tchaikovsky | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 3 (23 Page PDF/ Digital Download)
Highlights:  March of the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet Love Theme.

Bach | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 4  (24 Page PDF/ Digital Download)
Highlights: Minuet in G, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, and Toccata in D Minor.

Special Interests

Composing and accompanying aren’t usually the first skills you’d think of teaching kids. If presented appropriately, though, they can be very approachable and enjoyable for young musicians! These books are perfect for students who might need some variety in their lessons, who like new challenges, and who show creativity or interest in improvisation. These skills can also open doors to new types of music, such as current popular music, classic rock, or worship music.

Composing with Kids | Five “Recipes” for Success

composing-with-kids-book.jpgFor some, composing comes naturally, but there are patterns and skills that can be learned. This printable book walks aspiring composers through five “recipes,” or basic sounds, explaining what musical patterns create that particular effect. Then, students are invited to use their newly acquired knowledge to generate original pieces. Composing with Kids could make a great summer activity for the right student. They may be inspired to fill the blank staff pages with their own musical masterpieces!

The Piano Chords Fun Book™ | A Beginner’s Guide to Accompanying

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The world of lead sheets, chords, and accompanying might seem overwhelming, but this book makes it easy to approach. It starts with the basics of chord naming, including a very helpful chart. Then, several basic rhythmic patterns, such as “boom-chick” are demonstrated. If kids can identify the notes in the chord and follow the pattern, they are well on their way to accompanying using lead sheets. Full of examples and practice exercises, this approach provides a balance of guidance and freedom that will both encourage more hesitant improvisers and inspire the more free-spirited.

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Ultimate Music Education Worksheets and Games List

Whether you’re looking for fun classroom activities or resources for students to work on independently, this post has something for you. We’ve rounded up music education products from around the web to help you find the best options for your music students.

This roundup was created with the end of the school year and summer break in mind, but you’ll find many of these resources useful all year round.

Music Education Games
carnegie-hall-park-music-theory-game.jpgCarnegie Hall Park™ | Basic Skills Music Theory Board Game: Battle for a parking space while reviewing musical symbols and terms. Correct answers earn points, while wrong answers earn parking tickets. Blank question cards can be customized as well.

Pirate Quest™ | Basic Music Terms Game: Move through a pirate adventure by identifying musical terms while avoiding walking the plank

The Rhythm Store™ Game | Rhythm: Beats become currency as students make purchases and count out correct change. Knowing note values is a must in this retail-based game.

Classic memory matching games test kids’ note name knowledge while note-name-memory-game-tc.jpg challenging their memory:

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

Online/ Interactive Games

The Piano Player Online Music Reading/ Note-Playing Challenge: With multiple difficulty levels, students can practice correlating notes on the staff to notes on a keyboard. A note is displayed, and students must identify it on an on-screen keyboard.

Musical Families Online Game: This Little Einsteins game through Disney Junior challenges kids to find the missing instruments in time for a concert.

Music Match Online Instrument Matching Game: This is a screen-based memory game where students search for pairs of instruments.

Music Match Online Composer Matching Game: In this online match game, students search for pairs of composers.

Classics for Kids Games: Composition, Rhythm Matching, and Note Name Online Games: The composing game allows kids to drag notes onto a staff and hear their compositions. The rhythm game has kids tap a rhythm on the space bar and gives immediate feedback. Finally, the note name game has students spell out words by correctly identifying note names.

Shiver Me Timbres Interactive Screen-Based Instrument Family Game: Kids can play this visual, interactive game on PowerPoint, Keynote, or PDF. When presented with an image, the player chooses a category and receives immediate feedback on their choice.

Music Flash Cards
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Flash cards are a great way to practice and solidify musical knowledge that needs to be rock solid. Note names and musical terms should become second nature to music students, and flash cards can help. Whether used in traditional drills or as part of flashcard races like Around the World, flash cards can provide the repetition necessary to commit music basics to memory.

 

Treble Clef Flashcards
Bass Clef Flashcards
Viola Clef Flashcards
Flash Frog™ Flash Cards | Music Symbols and Terms
Musicard Triads Online Chord Flash Cards
Musicards Key Signatures Online Flash Cards

Note Name Practice Worksheets

color-that-note-treble-clef-g-position.jpgThese sheets adds some color to note identification practice. Students choose a color to associate with each of the five notes in the position and then use the same color each time the note appears.

Color That Note! Worksheet Treble Clef/C Position
Color That Note! Worksheet Bass Clef/C Position
Color That Note! Worksheet Treble Clef/G Position
Color That Note! Worksheet Bass Clef/G Position
Color That Note! Worksheet Bass Clef/Middle C Position

I Thought That I Was Crazy Note Name Worksheet Treble Clef: Complete a poem using note names to fill in missing words.

lets-crossword-treble-clef (1).jpgCrossword Note Names Worksheets: Note names spell out the words in these crossword challenges.

Let’s Crossword! Note Name Worksheet Treble Clef
Let’s Crossword! Note Name Worksheet Bass Clef

Code Breaker worksheets ask kids to decode messages by identifying note names. On code maker worksheets, students create their own codes by representing letters with their corresponding notes on the staff.codebreaker-treble-clef.jpg

CodeBreaker! Note Name Worksheet Treble Clef
CodeBreaker! Note Name Worksheet Bass Clef
CodeMaker! Note Name Worksheet Treble Clef
CodeMaker! Note Name Worksheet Bass Clef

M&M Challenge Note Name Worksheet Treble and Bass Clef: M & M candy pieces are both part of the worksheet and the reward. Staff paper is the perfect size for chocolate candies to be place on the staff to represent a requested note. Then, if the note is in the correct place, the music note becomes a sweet treat.

Name That Tune worksheets practice both note naming and listening. After notes have been named, a keyboard or xylophone can be used to try to name the tune.

Name That Tune! | Note Name Worksheet Treble Clef
Name That Tune! | Note Name Worksheet Bass Clef
Name That Tune! | Note Name Worksheet Viola Clef

Interval  and Rhythm Practice Worksheets
Along with note names and musical terms, rhythms and intervals are two more skills that need to be rock solid.

intervals_two3rds.jpgThese free interval worksheets devote one worksheet to each interval type, introducing the interval and asking students to write in the second note to complete the interval.

Intervals! | Worksheet One (2nds)
Intervals! | Worksheet Two (3rds)
Intervals! | Worksheet Three (4ths)
Intervals! | Worksheet Four (5ths)
Ready, Set, Go! | Worksheet Five (Unison-Octave)

it-all-adds-up-worksheet-one.jpgIt All Adds Up! are free rhythm worksheets reminiscent of math speed drills. Presenting different note combinations as math equations prompts students to review note values again and again. The worksheets make a fun speed challenge for students who are getting to know the rhythmic values well.

It All Adds Up! | Worksheet One (Whole/Half/Quarter)
It All Adds Up! | Worksheet Two (Half/Quarter/Eighth)
It All Adds Up! | Worksheet Three (Whole/Dotted Half/Half)
It All Adds Up! | Worksheet Four (Dotted Qtr/Quarter/Eighth)
It All Adds Up! | Worksheet Five (Quarter/Eighth/Sixteenth)

Summer Worksheets
original-1203244-1 (1).jpgAt this time of year, teachers and students alike have summer on the mind. These worksheets can be used in anticipation of summer or provided for summer activities that students can do on their own.
Summer Music Worksheets MegaPack
Music Fun in the Summer Sun Music Activities Ideas for Summer
Summer Color by Note

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Pomp and Circumstance | Free Piano Sheet Music

At this time of year, there’s one song you’ll be hearing from kindergartens to high schools to college campuses: Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance. Preschoolers in paper hats and doctoral candidates alike will be entering their respective ceremonies to the march that has become ubiquitous at U.S. graduations.

Do you need simple Pomp and Circumstance sheet music to accompany a ceremony of your own? Do you have piano students who heard the regal march and now want to perform it themselves? This free Pomp and Circumstance sheet music for level 4 piano solo captures the dignity and formality of the familiar orchestral piece in an arrangement kids can proudly play.

Get Pomp and Circumstance for Piano by Edward Elgar

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2 Page Printable Digital Download

Pomp and Circumstance wasn’t intended to be a graduation march. In fact, in its native England, the piece wouldn’t be associated with graduation. It would much more likely be identified as the patriotic “Land of Hope and Glory,” and sung with lyrics that were set to it before it ever reached American shores.

When Sir Edward Elgar was awarded an honorary doctorate at Yale in the early 1900s, however, the piece took on a new life in a new land. In Elgar’s honor, his Pomp and Circumstance was played as part of the recessional music. Yale continued to use a portion of his piece as a march in their graduations, and other colleges and universities soon followed suit. Now, even those who may not be able to name the tune would instantly recognize it as “that graduation song.”

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More American Music Composers | Free Printable Biographies, Sheet Music and Worksheets

Today’s post is a continuation of the American Music Composers post which explored the lives and music of great American composers. The three composers featured below make great subjects of study anytime, but especially nearing the end of a year of lessons. Their music is just plain fun to listen to and to play, and even kids who are staring out of classroom windows or slacking on their practice time will be engaged by it.

scott-joplin.jpg Scott Joplin, the second of six children, was born sometime between June 1867 and January 1868 in eastern Texas. His father was a slave, while his mother was born a free black woman. After 1871 Joplin and his family moved to Texarkana, Texas. It was then that young Scott taught himself music on a piano in a home where his mother worked. Get complete free printable biography.

Joplin’s rise to musical success, just one generation removed from slavery, is certainly remarkable. Review his story with Scott Joplin | Word Search Worksheet and Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet, and put a face to the name with Scott Joplin | Coloring Page.

Seldom does one man define a musical genre like Scott Joplin defined ragtime. Recordings of his work make for enjoyable listening activities and are fun to play, too. Young pianists and other instrumentalists can try their hand at some of Joplin’s greatest hits with these sheet music selections:

The Entertainer for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo
The Entertainer for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo – Play and Learn™
The Entertainer for Intermediate/Level 5 Piano Solo
The Entertainer for Intermediate/Level 5 Piano Solo – Play and Learn™
Maple Leaf Rag for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo
Easy Winners for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo
The Entertainer for Easy Flute Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Clarinet Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Alto Saxophone Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Trumpet Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Trombone Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Violin Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Viola Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Cello Solo with Piano Accompaniment

gershwin.jpgGeorge Gershwin was born as Jacob Gershowitz on September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York. George, the second of four children, was born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents Morris Gershowitz and Rosa Bruskin. His father changed the family name to Gershwin after immigrating from Russia. Get the complete free printable biography.

His is another story of a fascinating rise from high school dropout in a Brooklyn apartment to brotherly partnership and worldwide fame. Free resources for reviewing Gershwin’s biography include George Gershwin | Word Search and Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet.

Gershwin composed a number of hits that have stood the test of time, often accompanied by his brother’s lyrics. Here are a few favorites arranged for easy/ intermediate piano.

Rhapsody in Blue  for piano solo
Summertime for piano solo
They Can’t Take That Away from Me for piano solo

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John Williams was born on February 8, 1932, in Floral Park, New York. In 1948 John moved with his family to Los Angeles, California. He later attended college near his home in Los Angeles where he began to study composition. After college he was drafted into the United States Air Force where he had the opportunity to arrange music for, and conduct the Air Force band. Get complete printable free biography.

From show tunes with Gershwin to movie magic with Williams, the stage and the silver screen have inspired some memorable American music. After reading Williams’s biography, review with John Williams | Word Search Worksheet and
Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet. Then, get on with the show to enjoy the many classic film scores that Williams has composed.

Since his works are recognizable and accessible, they lend themselves well to listening activities for kids of all ages. Guide their listening experience with the following listening glyphs, customized for some of the most well-known Williams pieces. Glyphs allow students to record what they are hearing with color, helping them learn what to listen for and giving them vocabulary to describe music. star-wars-listening-glyph-worksheet.jpg

John Williams | Film Score Music Listening Glyphs
Star Wars (John Williams) | Music Listening Glyph

Jurassic Park (John Williams) | Music Listening Glyph
Indiana Jones (John Williams) | Music Listening Glyph

Besides for the films listed above, Williams is also known for ET, the Harry Potter films, Superman, and Schindler’s List. Kids can make their own soundtrack with the piano sheet music selections below.

Star Wars Main Theme for intermediate piano Solo
Hedwig’s Theme from the Harry Potter films for student (easy)/ teacher duet
Raiders March for intermediate piano solo

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American Music Composers | Free Printable Biographies, Sheet Music and Worksheets

You won’t find Americans on a list of great Baroque composers due to the simple fact that the United States wasn’t quite a country yet during the Baroque Era. The young nation isn’t terribly well known for its Classical or even Romantic Era composers, either. But when the Modern Era dawned, it was time for Americans to shine.

Several revolutionary American composers helped define the Modern Era and are considered among its greatest talents. Get to know these American musical legends with free printable composer biographies, intermediate and easy piano sheet music, and worksheets. Two will be featured in this post, and additional composers will be showcased in an upcoming post.

leonard-bernstein.jpgLeonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1918. His father, Sam Bernstein, did not support young Leonard’s interest in music at first. Despite this, his father took him to many orchestra concerts. At one of these concerts he heard a piano performance that captivated him. It was then that he began to learn to play the piano. Get the complete free biography. Then, review the biography with Leonard Bernstein Word Search and Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet.

Bernstein stood out as a performer, conductor, and composer, but may be most readily recognized as the man behind West Side Story’s memorable musical score. Intermediate piano students can try their hand at “Somewhere” from West Side Story.

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Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 14, 1900 to Jewish parents who immigrated from Russia. His first experience with music came from his older sister who taught him how to play the piano.

By age 17, Aaron decided that he wanted to be a composer, so he began taking composition lessons from a respected private music instructor in Manhattan. During this time, Aaron attended many music performances at the New York Symphony and Brooklyn Academy of Music where he listened to the music of contemporary and classical composers. Following his passion for European music, Aaron left New York for Paris. Get the complete free biography.  Review information from the biography using Aaron Copland Word Search or Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet.

Copland was a truly American composer, incorporating jazz influences and folk songs in his works for orchestra, film score, and ballet. One of his most well-known works was his ballet score Appalachian Spring. The Shaker song “Simple Gifts” is featured prominently in this piece, and although Copland himself did not write it, he ensured that it would be performed and recognized for years to come. Here’s an arrangement of “Simple Gifts” for level 3 piano solo.  The lyrics to the original song are available on this page as well.

Bernstein and Copland aren’t the only great American composers. Watch for another post featuring more outstanding American composers’ stories and works.

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Amazing Grace │ Easy-Intermediate Free Piano Sheet Music (3 Levels)

Teaching kids the technical basics of music is important, of course. It’s also important– and quite a bit harder– to teach students about the emotional power of music.

Some songs can have effects that go beyond the notes on the page. They can evoke emotions and tap into larger traditions and memories. Amazing Grace is certainly one such song. This beloved hymn has been a source of comfort and an expression of faith for generations.

Due to its power and popularity, this song has been recorded and arranged countless times, with all kinds of different instrumentation, styles, and moods. There are numerous arrangements for solo piano alone, and fortunately, this means that students of any skill level can be a part of the tradition. Here are just three free piano arrangements for students of various levels.

Beginner/ Easy
Even the youngest pianist can play the familiar melody of Amazing Grace. This very easy arrangement passes the melody between right and left hands and includes the lyrics of the first verse. Only in the last two measures are two notes played at a time. Otherwise, this simple arrangement consists of the melody only, one note at a time. Students can build confidence by playing a well-known and recognizable song.

Get Amazing Grace Level 1/ Easy Free Piano Sheet Music

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Easy/ Intermediate
As students advance in their skill level, the tune of Amazing Grace can be enhanced. This lovely level 3 arrangements adds arpeggios in the left hand, creating a flowing accompaniment to the melody.

Get Amazing Grace Level 3/ Early Intermediate Free Piano Sheet Music

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Intermediate
More advanced students will appreciate the full sound of this arrangement, which includes right-hand chord clusters with a moving left hand. The rich harmonies make this both a strong accompaniment for singing and a powerful stand alone piece.

Get Amazing Grace Intermediate Free Piano Sheet Music

No matter what level a students is playing at, there is a version of this spiritual favorite for them to play.

Although the melody itself if moving, much of the power of this song rests in its lyrics, famously written by a reformed British slave trader, John Newton:

Lyrics
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come.
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home. Read More…

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