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Composer of the Month Resources | Elementary Music Lesson Plans

A new school year means a fresh start– a chance to try new strategies, routines and materials. This year, consider featuring a composer of the month in your music classroom.  It’s an easy way to introduce your students to great composers even if you don’t have time to spend whole units getting to know them. With a little wall space for visuals and a little class time, your students will have the opportunity to meet a composer, learning basic facts about their lives and contributions.

For each of the composers below, you’ll find a bulletin board pack– a printable pdf file with a large image of the composer, fun facts about the composer, and a list of each composer’s “Greatest Hits.” The posters are designed to be clear and basic so that after a month of seeing these posters on the wall, your students will recall the key facts. You’ll also find a kid-friendly, one-page biography. To follow up any biography, you can use Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet to review the experiences and skills that shaped that composer. Additional worksheets, lesson plans and other resources are also provided for each composer to extend your study beyond the biography.

Print Elementary Music Lesson Plans

Composer of the Month: Beethoven


Get Beethoven | Composer of the Month Bulletin Board Pack
Get Beethoven free printable biography

More Beethoven Resources:
Beethoven Word Search
Beethoven Multiplication-Connect-the-Dot
Beethoven Coloring Page
Homeschool Music Lesson Plans

Composer of the Month: John Williams


Get John Williams | Composer of the Month Bulletin Board Pack
Get Williams free printable biography

More John Williams Resources:
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
John Williams | Word Search Worksheet
Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet
Homeschool Music Lesson Plans

Composer of the Month: Franz Joseph Hayden


Get Haydn | Composer of the Month Bulletin Board Posters
Get Hayden free printable biography

More Hayden Resources:
Surprise Symphony | Listening Map and Lesson
Franz Joseph Haydn | Word Search Worksheet
Franz Joseph Haydn | Coloring Page
Meet the Composer Job Application | Worksheet
Surprise Symphony | Listening/Activity Lesson | Grade 2-4
Homeschool Music Lesson Plans | Franz Joseph Haydn

Composer of the Month: George Frederic Handel


Get Handel | Composer of the Month Lesson and Bulletin Board Pack
Get Handel free printable biography

More Handel Resources:
Hallelujah Chorus | Soprano Recorder Play-Along (Music/Mp3)
Hallelujah Chorus (Handel) | Listening Map
Hallelujah Chorus (Handel) | Listening Map/Composer Pack (Bundle)
George Frideric Handel Word Search
Free Homeschool Lesson Plans

Composer of the Month: Sergei Prokoviev


Get Prokofiev | Composer of the Month Bulletin Board Pack
Get Prokofiev free printable biography

More Prokofiev Resources:
Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev) | Music Lesson Pack
Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev) | Comic Strip Worksheet and Lesson Plan
Peter and the Wolf | Music Listening Lesson
Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev) Listening Glyph
Sergei Prokofiev | Word Search
Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet
Peter and the Wolf FunLib™ (Prokofiev) | Story and Worksheet
Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev) | Music Lesson Pack
Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev) | Bulletin Board Pack

With these materials, introducing your elementary music class to a new composer each month will be fun and easy. Among all the exciting things they’ll learn in your class this year, they’ll meet some some of the world’s greatest composers.


Related Piano Sheet Music and Music Lesson Plan Posts:

8 Music Lessons for the Music Classroom | Free Lesson Plans
Peter and the Wolf | 8 Music Lesson Plans and Resources
Ludwig van Beethoven Music Lesson Resources | Lesson Plan Guide
John Williams Music Lesson Resources | Lesson Plan Guide
Old Maid: Music Composer Card Game
Essential Beethoven | Piano Sheet Music
Fabulous First Day! | Lesson Plans and Materials for the Music Classroom



Free Music Practice Charts, Incentives and Award Certificates

Logging regular practice time is essential to music students’ progress. Motivating students to adopt good practice habits can be a challenge, however. A few appealing tools can help students enjoy tracking their practice time, see progress towards their goals, and see rewards for their efforts.

1. Practice Charts. Keeping a practice log is a great way to make practicing a daily habit. For younger students, choose a practice chart that simply records whether they practiced on a given day. (The link below includes a color-in chart that’s easy to use and visually represents their practice sessions.) Older students will benefit from charts that record the number of minutes practiced. They can work with their teacher to set reasonable goals and then track their progress with one of the four different designs of practice charts below.

Get Free Printable Practice Charts (12 Designs)

2. Beethoven Bucks. It would be nice if students’ practice was always intrinsically motivated, simply for the love of music. Realistic music teachers know that’s not the case. For younger students especially, the promise of long-term improvement isn’t immediate enough to make daily practice sessions appealing. That’s where Beethoven Bucks come in. Work with your students to set goals and determine the Beethoven Bucks awards for meeting them  (a list of suggested goals and rewards, along with goal tracking sheets, are included with the package).

Decide in advance what the Beethoven Bucks will allow the students to purchase, and at what cost. These might include physical prizes of various values, from inexpensive sheet music or snacks to larger gift cards or whatever else you may have available. Bucks could also buy intangibles, like privileges or experiences, such as attending a local concert, bringing a friend to a lesson, or anything else you know your students would enjoy.

Get Printable Beethoven Bucks

Student Goal Sheet with Teacher and Student Selected Goals
17 Recommended Goals w/Suggested Beethoven Buck Amounts
One Sheet of 1’s
One Sheet of 5’s
One Sheet of 20’s

3. Music Report Card. Communication regarding students’ progress can also serve as a motivator. It can be difficult for students to gauge their own progress, so getting feedback from their teacher on a regular basis is important. Students who do practice regularly and improve as a result will see the fruits of their efforts in your positive reports. The simple report card format below is easy for you to use, with a blank for each week in the quarter and a space for an overall quarterly grade. You can use traditional letter grades or a system of your own to indicate students’ overall progress or track a specific aspect of their development.

Get Free Printable Music Report Card

4. Music Award Certificates. Words of commendation from a respected teacher can go a long way. In addition to regular affirmation, mark specific accomplishments with an award certificate. Follow the link below for over 30 different music award certificates for various situations. Many are general enough to be used for whatever achievements you would like, whether it is meeting a practice goal or reaching other goals through faithful practice.

Get Free Printable Music Award Certificates


Ultimately, you can’t decide for students whether or not they will practice each day. You can, however, provide the tools and motivation to encourage them to do so.


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Bible Songs & Hymns for Piano | Free Easy Piano Sheet Music

Many piano students of faith enjoy playing songs from their religious traditions.They may have opportunities to perform at churches or other religious gatherings, or they may simply love playing familiar songs that express their beliefs. For students of Christian faith, a collection of easy hymn arrangements for piano would be a great addition to their sheet music collection. The Christian church has a rich tradition of hymns, but often hymnals are arranged with four-pat harmony in mind and are too advanced for young students. This doesn’t need to stop even beginning students from playing hymns and Bible songs.

Below you will find a  variety of free, printable sheet music for hymns and other Bible songs. From children’s Sunday School classics like “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and “Do Lord” to deeper, well-loved hymns lie “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” and “Crown Him with Many Crowns,” this collection offers numerous favorites of the faith in arrangement leveled for kids. Each link takes you to the free downloadable sheet music as well as the full lyrics to the song and audio of the arrangement.

Level 1/ Beginner Bible Songs & Hymns Sheet Music
Amazing Grace for Piano Solo | Traditional
It Is Well with My Soul for Piano Solo by Bliss/Spafford
Praise God from Whom All Blessing Flow for Piano Solo by Bourgeois/Ken

Level 2/ Easy Bible Songs & Hymns Sheet Music
The B-I-B-L-E for Piano Solo | Bible Song
Do Lord for Piano Solo | Bible Song
Hallelu, Hallelu for Piano Solo | Bible Song
He’s Got the Whole World for Piano Solo | Bible Song
I’ve Got Peace Like a River for Piano Solo | Hymn
Jesus Loves Me for Piano Solo | Bible Song
Kum Ba Yah for Piano Solo | Bible Song
This Little Light of Mine for Piano Solo | Bible Song
Who Built the Ark? for Piano Solo | Bible Song

Level 3/ Easy-Intermediate Bible Songs & Hymns Sheet Music

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name for Piano Solo | Traditional
A Mighty Fortress is Our God for Piano Solo by Martin Luther
Be Thou My Vision for Piano Solo | Irish Hymn
Come, Thou All Mighty King for Piano Solo | Psalm 95:3
Crown Him with Many Crowns for Piano Solo | Traditional
Down to the River to Pray for Piano Solo | Traditional
Eternal Father, Strong to Save for Piano Solo | Traditional
For the Beauty of the Earth for Piano Solo by Pierpoint
Go Down Moses for Piano Solo | Traditional
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty for Piano Solo by Neander/Gesangbuch
Onward Christian Soldiers for Piano Solo by Sullivan and Baring-Gould
We Gather Together for Piano Solo | Dutch Hymn

Level 4/ Intermediate Bible Songs & Hymns Sheet Music
All Creatures of Our God and King for Piano Solo | Saint Francis of Assis

It’s no surprise that many religious traditions use hymns and songs to express their faith. These songs capture the religion’s stories and truths in memorable and engaging ways, allowing believers to recall and share them easily. In addition, music has the power to stir hearts to worship, bringing joy and peace to the faithful who play it, sing it, and hear it.


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24 Elementary Music Lesson Plans – 1st Grade

Elementary music teachers can find themselves a bit isolated. They are often part of a small department, and many times are the only person teaching each of their grade levels. They may not get the opportunity to co-plan as some other departments do. Besides leaving music teachers with a lot of planning to do, it also leaves them without the diverse ideas, peer feedback, and encouragement that can be found when planning is done with others.

Many of these benefits can be gained by purchasing fellow teachers’ lesson plans online. When you read and use others’ lesson plans, you infuse your teaching with new ideas. You’ll see how another teacher structures her class periods, arranges her units, and sequences her semester. You can use what you like, compare ideas, and decide what will work best for your students. When you access high-quality classroom resources,  it’s like collaborating with an innovative colleague.

Lindsay Jervis is one such innovative colleague, and she offers full semester first grade lesson plan bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers. If you are a new music teacher, new to first grade, or just need some new ideas for content or structure, this bundle can help. With 24 lessons that progress from kindergarten review to first grade concepts, you will be well on your way to a wonderful first semester of first grade. Reviewers love these plans’ organization, creativity, and effectiveness.

Print Music Lesson Plans

Get Elementary Music Lesson Plans – First Grade {24 Lessons}

Elementary Music Lesson Plans - First Grade {24 Lessons}
220 Pages (Digital Zip File)

24 Scripted Lessons Aligned with Core Arts Standards
Several songs, slide sets and resources
Links to additional songs, slide sets, worksheets, assessments, resources, etc.

Some teachers might be concerned that purchasing lesson plans online is “cheating”or taking the easy road. Depending on how you use them, though, lesson plan bundles can be an investment in your classroom and your students. As the product’s description explains, these lessons aren’t meant to be a “print and teach” substitute for planning your own lessons. Instead, they are an excellent example that you can learn from, build on, customize, and make your own. Doing things the same way you’ve always done them is the easy road– incorporating new ideas and challenging yourself to improve is anything but!

Another teacher’s well-planned semester can inspire you as you write new lessons, provide a useful template, and generate ideas. You may end up using some of the lessons just as they are, but the benefits of a great lesson plan bundle reach beyond the individual lessons. It can be an opportunity to “collaborate” with another teacher to hone your craft and, ultimately, benefit your students.


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This Little Light of Mine | Free Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Sometimes the simplest songs are the most powerful. Take, for example, “This Little Light of Mine.” The lyrics are basic and repetitive, easy enough for even the youngest Sunday school student to learn quickly. The message, though, is profound enough to affect those well beyond childhood. Whether the tune is played slowly and soulfully or with upbeat energy, it invites everyone to join in and sing along.

This versatile song has been arranged and recorded numerous times. Below is an arrangement of “This Little Light of Mine” especially for young piano students. With a clear melody, appealing harmony, and lyrics included, this free piano sheet music provides an easy-to-play arrangement with a satisfying sound.

Print Beginner Piano Sheet Music

This Little Light of Mine Easy/ Level 2 Piano Solo

Free PDF/ Digital Download

Though it originated as a children’s Bible song in the early 20th Century, it was later adopted as a civil rights anthem during the 50s and 60s.  “This Little Light of Mine” was also memorably performed on the first post-9/11 David Letterman show by the Boys’ Choir of Harlem. It has been sung in the spirit of child-like faith and fun, the spirit of determination and defiance, and the spirit of hope and healing.

Part of the song’s appeal is likely due to the versatile nature of its lyrics. The song has several verses beyond the lyrics in this sheet music, and you can click here for more “This Little Light of Mine” lyrics. Different versions throughout the years have included additional verses, as they can easily be adapted to performers’ and audience’s liking.

With their free “This Little Light of Mine” sheet music, your students can let their own light shine.


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Rhythm Squeeze: Piano Game

Interested in hosting a piano party or summer camp? Here’s a game that’s sure to be a hit!

This post is a shout-out for a fun game we found on I love this game because it helps students to develop an ability to discern rhythmic patterns, and repeat them. This skill – analysis-  is also a higher-order thinking skill.

About Rhythm Squeeze
The best way to describe this fun, fast-paced activity is that it’s a little like “Telephone,” but with rhythms, running, and beanbags.

Learn more about Rhythm Squeeze: Piano Game

How to Play Rhythm Squeeze
Split your piano students into two lines and have them sit on the floor facing each other. Ask each line of students to hold hands.  Place a beanbag on the floor in between the two lines… Read more


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10 Christmas Songs from Around the World | Easy Piano Sheet Music

Give your Christmas piano recital a memorable theme by focusing on the origins of each Christmas piece. The Christmas music that helps us celebrate the season today has a rich history to be shared. Traditional tunes, stories, poetry, and lyrics have been drawn together from throughout the Western world and shaped into the songs we know today.

Consider enhancing your “Christmas Around the World” Christmas piano recital by having students read a brief history of the song they are playing, or include some details in the program notes. Students and audience members alike will leave the recital freshly reminded that the joy of Christmas spans nations and languages.

This list of Christmas piano sheet music can get help build your international repertoire with a variety of international pieces. Download the free or paid sheet music, learn the lyrics, and even hear a sample by following the links below:

Print Beginner and Easy Piano Sheet Music

Pat-a-Pan: Level 1 Piano Solo (French) The name “Pat-a-Pan” is meant to imitate the sound of the drum in this lively French carol, and that lyric remains the same in its original Burgundian, French, and English lyrics.

Good King Wenceslas: Level 1 Piano Solo (Czech/ Bohemian/ English/Finnish) This carol’s roots stretch into many countries: an Englishman wrote the lyrics based on the legend of a Duke of Bohemia (modern day Czech republic). Then, it was set to a traditional tune that can be traced back to Finland. Talk about a group effort!

We Three Kings: Level 1 Piano Solo (American) Although this Christmas song tells of visitors from the orient traveling to visit the Christ child, its origins are closer to home: New York.

Silent Night: Level 2 Piano Solo (Austrian) A broken church organ in Austria led to one of the most well-known and loved Christmas carols thanks to a poetic pastor and a quick-composing organist (who luckily also played guitar).

Away in a Manger: Level 3 Piano Solo (American) Although it is generally agreed that this peaceful cradle song was made in America, it actually gained popularity partly because it was incorrectly attributed to the German reformer Martin Luther for some time.

Oh Come, All Ye Faithful: Level 3 Piano Solo (Uncertain: Portuguese/English) The exact origin of both the original Latin lyrics and the tune are both in question, but a Portuguese king, Portuguese, German or Spanish monks, and an English hymn writer are a few of the possibilities.

Joy to the World: Level 3 Piano Solo (English) Yes, this is another English hymn (there are so many great ones!), but what song title better fits the theme of “Christmas Around the World”?

O Christmas Tree: Level 4 Piano Solo (German) This is one of the few carols that is sometimes still popularly heard in its native German (O Tannenbaum). The traditional song may not have originally been intended for Christmas, but it has become a holiday favorite.

Gesu Bambino: Level 4 Piano Solo (Italian) Almost exactly 100 years ago, an Italian composer gave the world this lesser-known but beautifully melodic carol.

He Is Born, The Divine Christ Child: Level 5 Piano Duet (French) This upbeat traditional French carol arranged as a piano duet would make a fun addition for two of your more advanced beginning students.


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