Tag Archives: music classroom

Thanksgiving Activities | Elementary Music Lesson Plans and Resources

With Halloween over, Thanksgiving is the next holiday on the horizon. You can get your music classroom in the holiday spirit without sacrificing learning.

Print Elementary Music Lesson Plans and Resources

Thanksgiving (Turkey) | Free Color-by-Note Rhythm Worksheet

This free printable worksheet reviews basic note and rest values. The key assigns a color to each note type, and students create a colorful holiday picture as they identify the correct note values.

Thanksgiving Music Listening Glyph Worksheets (Digital Print)

Listening glyphs help your students express what they hear as they listen to a piece of music, and these glyphs let them do it with holiday spirit. One of the printable worksheets is specifically designed to be used for Vivaldi’s “Autumn,” providing a ready-to-use November activity. The download also includes a general use turkey glyph, where the listening prompts are provided, but the song choice is yours. Finally, you can create your own glyph, including prompts telling your students what they should listen for with a blank turkey glyph.

Run From The Farmer | Syncopation Lesson Plan

This free music lesson plan uses the Thanksgiving-themed song “Run from the Farmer” to introduce the concept of syncopation. It includes an Orff orchestration and instructions for an active lesson.

Run from the Farmer | Free Orff Orchestration Sheet Music

If all you want is the free Orff orchestration sheet music for “Run from the Farmer,” that’s available on its own. Get students clapping and playing along with this upbeat song.

Thanksgiving Music Activities: SIX Composition Activities

There aren’t very many Thanksgiving songs, are there? Your students can change that with these six Thanksgiving Music Composition Activities from Music Teacher Resources. Recommended for grades 4-8, these activities guide students to create original Thanksgiving songs. Multiple choice measures and limited note choices provide excellent scaffolding to help even first-time composers find success.

Songs and Activities for Thanksgiving (Bundle)

Finally, if you want lots of Thanksgiving options, check out this bundle from Aileen Miracle. Suitable for students from K-5, it includes a variety of Thanksgiving songs, a movement activity, composition lessons, and rhythm work.

Whether you want you students to work on rhythm, compose, sing, or listen thoughtfully to music, there’s a Thanksgiving music activity for you. Enjoy the holiday with your students!


Related Music Lesson Plan Posts:

The Nutcracker │Free Story Summary, FunLib Worksheet and Venn Diagram
Christmas Music for Beginners|Easy Piano Sheet Music
10 Christmas Songs from Around the World | Easy Piano Sheet Music
Music Class Monthly Lesson Bundles
Music Class Monthly Lesson Bundles


Peter and the Wolf | 8 Music Lesson Plans and Resources

Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf lends itself well to many different classroom objectives. Whether you’re looking for a stand-alone lesson, listening activities, bundles, or even units, there are lots of great resources available. Some teach new concepts, some allow students to exercise their listening skills, while others are more geared towards creative interaction with a beloved piece of music. Check out the lessons and resources below and find just what you need to bring Peter and the Wolf to life in your classroom.

  1. Peter and the Wolf Music Lesson Pack. This bundle includes tools for exploring both the composer and his most well-known work.  A kid-friendly biography with review activities, listening glyphs, and a comic-strip listening lesson plan are just some of the resources in this collection.

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Hey Kids, Meet Sergei Prokofiev | Biography
Sergei Prokofiev | Composer Word Search
Meet the Composer Job Application
Peter and the Wolf | Listening Glyphs (3)
Peter and the Wolf | Comic Strip Worksheet and Lesson Plan
Peter and the Wolf | Draw!
Peter and the Wolf | Match!

2. Peter and the Wolf Listening Journal and Fact Sheet. This highly rated Teachers Pay Teachers offering leaves students with their own, self-made informational booklet at the end of their study, and the printables make preparation simple.

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14 Color-able fact sheets
2 Listening log pages
Listening journal

3. Peter and the Wolf Worksheets and Writing Prompts. Approachable worksheets help young students review the story and instrumentation and then advance to higher level thinking, putting themselves in the shoes of composer and characters. Many music teachers are encouraged to incorporate writing, and this is a natural way to do it.

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4. Peter and the Wolf Listening Lesson. Leitmotifs are just one of the many musical techniques that Peter and the Wolf exemplifies. This lesson introduces that concept and guides students to find the story in the music.

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5. Songs, Visuals, and Activities for Peter and the Wolf. For an extensive study of Peter and the Wolf, try this 79-page unit plan from Teachers Pay Teachers. Beat and ostinato are two of the concepts covered, and the visuals are exceptionally attractive.

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“Follow Me” beat activity
Peter and the Wolf beat visuals for beat-tracking
Story visuals: Image and text cards
Rhythmic ostinato activity and flashcards
Prokofiev and the Peter and the Wolf Worksheet (reading with questions)
Listening Worksheet for Peter and the Wolf
Peter and the Wolf” slideshow
Bulletin board visuals for each character with their instrument
A picture of Prokofiev
Directions for the set, including picture book and unit suggestions

6. Peter and the Wolf FunLibs Story Synopsis and Worksheet. This worksheet is a fun way for students to learn, review, and have fun with the story in the music. It could easily accompany a larger lesson or unit, or it could facilitate a short introduction to the piece.

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7. Peter and the Wolf Work Stations. Dive into Peter and the Wolf station-style with 5 hands-on activities perfect for station work. The variety will keep students engaged and the creativity will ensure students won’t soon forget Peter and the Wolf.

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Peter and the Wolf Color by Note
Peter and the Wolf Crowns
Peter and the Wolf Cut and Tell
Peter and the Wolf Dabber Activities
Peter and the Wolf Flap Book

8. Peter and the Wolf Storybook PowerPoint. A great accompaniment to any unit or listening session, this PowerPoint presentation puts a storybook on the screen. With colorful illustrations and text, this 33 page presentation brings story time to the music classroom.

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Related Music Lesson Plan Posts:

John Williams Music Lesson Resources | Lesson Plan Guide
Ludwig van Beethoven Music Lesson Resources | Lesson Plan Guide
Tchaikovsky | Homeschool Music Lesson Curriculum
Johann Sebastian Bach | Homeschool Music Lesson Curriculum
Free Elementary Music Lesson Plan Template
Elementary Music Lesson Plans | 24 Lessons
Essential Questions for the Music Classroom | Printable Lesson Pack

Ready-to-Use Music Classroom Rubrics

Any music teacher who has used great rubrics can tell you how helpful they are. Any music teacher who has created great rubrics can tell you how much time and effort it takes to develop them. That’s why well-written, ready-to-use music classroom rubrics are one of the most valuable resources a music teacher can find.

This four-star rubric bundle from Mrs. Miracle’s Music Room provides 10 classroom-ready rubrics for some of the basic skills that can be difficult to assess. These skills span a variety of levels, from steady beats to rhythmic and melodic dictation to solo singing and recorder playing. The bundle also includes supplemental materials to help teach some of those skills. Finally, you will find tools to help you use rubrics well, and even resources to create your own rubrics. Hundreds of teachers have purchased and loved this elementary music rubric resource.

Print Music Lesson Plan Resource

Get Ready-to-Use Rubrics for the Music Classroom

Ready-to-use Rubrics {10 Rubrics for the Music Classroom}

10 Ready-to-Use Printable Rubrics

  • Keeping steady beat
  • Tracking steady beat
  • Tracking rhythm
  • Differentiating between comparatives like fast/slow
  • Reading rhythm patterns
  • Improvising rhythm patterns
  • Rhythmic dictation
  • Melodic dictation
  • Solo singing
  • Playing recorders

Supplemental Materials

  • Beat chart
  • Comparative visuals
  • Popsicle stick directions
  • Paper plate improvisation directions
  • Melodic manipulative directions
  • “Old House” and “Come back home my little chicks” for solo singing
  • “Apple Tree” and “Bee Bee” rhythm visuals

How to Write a Rubric
Why Use Rubrics
Rubric Template
(29 Pages, Compressed Zipped File)

A well-written rubric can be a music teacher’s best friend. For one thing, they streamline assessment, making a sometimes subjective and abstract process more concrete. In this way, rubrics also enhance communication about your students’ progress with parents, students themselves, departments, and school administrations. Music teachers can have a difficult time providing the type of numerical student data that schools are increasingly requiring, but using clear, common rubrics can help meet these standards.

Rubrics aren’t just helpful on the final assessment end of a lesson or unit, though. The same rubric can be used multiple times throughout a unit to track students’ learning.  A good rubric can also help you establish expectations and goals from the time a concept is first introduced. It can even guide your planning as you plan your approach to a new skill.

Not only will this music rubric resource enhance your rubric collection with ten teacher-tested rubrics to use tomorrow– it will also assist you in creating and improving rubrics of your own so that you and your students can fully enjoy all the benefits a great rubric provides again and again.


Related Music Lesson Plan Posts

5 Tips for Music Classroom Centers and Resources
Music Lab in the Music Classroom: 3 Reasons It’s The Best Decision You’ll Ever Make
Essential Questions for the Music Classroom | Printable Lesson Pack
Polished Planning | Music Lesson Plan Guide and Templates
Music Class Monthly Lesson Bundles

The Nutcracker │Free Story Summary, FunLib Worksheet and Venn Diagram

Nearly everyone has heard of The Nutcracker, but how many people could actually tell you the story? With the Nutcracker Story Summary and FunLib, students will not only learn the plot of the story that inspired the famous ballet, but they will also have fun creating a silly version of their own. With Christmas just around the corner, The Nutcracker FunLib Story and Worksheet is the perfect way to familiarize students with a culturally significant story while maintaining the holiday spirit of fun and celebration.

Print Music Lesson Plan Worksheets

The Nutcracker FunLibs │Story and Worksheet

Free Printable Worksheet (2 Pages)

As the holidays grow closer and student attention spans diminish, an activity like this one is the perfect choice. Whether you are in a music classroom in those final days before winter break, or whether you want to add a little something different to your home school music lessons or piano lessons, your students can have some fun without giving up on learning. The first page gives a concise summary of the story, while the second page leaves significant blanks for students to fill in the nouns, verbs, and adjectives of their choice– without looking at the context. When all the blanks are filled, students will have a one-of-a-kind version of the story. The Nutcracker FunLib would make a great companion to any study of Tchaikovsky or any of his magical music from The Nutcracker ballet.

The Nutcracker Venn Diagram, for example, guides students to compare and contrast two different movements of The Nutcracker. All you need for a seasonal listening lesson is a recording of two movements of The Nutcracker and this free printable worksheet.

Nutcracker Venn Diagram Listening Worksheet

Free Printable Worksheet (1 page)

The diagram’s simple design allows you to choose any two movements you’d like to focus on. There are plenty of great listening options, from the mysterious and playful Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy to the exhilarating Russian Dance or the majestic Waltz of the Flowers. You are also free to provide however much or little guidance you would like, based on your students’ ages and musical knowledge. Students of any age will enjoy hearing these timeless seasonal pieces.

Who Wrote the music of The Nutcracker Ballet?
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in 1840 in present-day Udmurtia, Russia. His father was a Ukrainian mining engineer. Peter began piano lessons at the age of five, and within three years he could read music as well as his teacher… Read more.


Related Famous Composer Music Lesson Plan Posts

Christmas Piano Sheet Music Music for Kids | Free Easy
Nutcracker Activities and Visuals | Music Lesson Plan
The Nutcracker | 13 Music Activity Worksheets (PDF)
Tchaikovsky | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 3
Great Composer Masterworks for Kids | Free Piano Sheet Music (Level 3)



Teaching Solfège | Song and Activity Pack for the Music Classroom

Sol-Mi often serves as the foundation to young students’ musical paradigm. Aileen Miracle’s comprehensive sol-mi package provides everything you need to immerse your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade students in sol-mi. With 90 pages of varied resources, you can spend up to three months introducing, reinforcing, practicing, and enjoying sol-mi.

Print Music Lesson Plan

Songs and Activities to Teach Sol-Mi

Songs and Activities to Teach Sol-Mi

2 Lesson Plans (Presenting sol-mi and Toy Symphony)
2 PowerPoint Presentations (“Solfa Street” and “Star Light”)
5 Smart Board files (For visually and aurally identifying staff patterns, manipulating staff patterns, and writing staff patterns)
Melodic Flashcards (Staff and stick notation)
Manipulative Visuals with directions
Learning Center Activities
3 Worksheets (Lines and spaces and Sol-Mi writing)
Strategies for teaching sol-mi and for staff work
Songs to teach sol-mi
“See Saw” stick notation sheet
(Compressed Zip File)

Mrs. Miracle provides everything you need to embark on a thorough and multi-faceted study of sol-mi. Students will see, hear, write, and interact with this tonal pattern through multiple mediums, learning to recognize and reproduce its sound and notations. Whether you are completely new to this approach to teaching music or you are looking for some new resources to refresh your practice, this lesson pack will enhance your work.


More 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

Ludwig van Beethoven │Music Bulletin Board Poster Bundle

Familiarity with Ludwig van Beethoven is a must for music students of all ages. The Beethoven Bulletin Board Poster Bundle provides an attractive and memorable overview of the composer’s life, works, era, and fun facts. Perfect as a focal point for a composer of the month program or any lesson involving the composer, this ready-to-use display bundle instantly enhances your learning space.

Print Music Lesson Plan Resource

Ludwig van Beethoven │ Bulletin Board Poster Pack

One large Beethoven poster (11 x 14.5)
Five bulletin board posters (8.5 x 11)
Digital Print/ PDF published by MakingMusicFun.net

These visual aids sport a clean-cut, simple design to emphasize key points without distraction. Their style is appropriate for a variety of age levels, from 2nd to 6th grade. Repetition of information in different formats contributes to long-term retention, and these posters will reinforce the facts every time students see them.

A large image of the composer helps students put a face to the famous name, and a poster of the era helps students place him in his context in Germany at the turn of the 19th century. The composer won’t seem so distant, though, when students see (and hear) the pieces on the poster of his most famous works. Many will have heard the well-known melodies of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Ode to Joy, or Für Elise. A fun fact poster helps humanize the musical legend and gives kids something to remember. (Hint: Some students may find they share a surprising favorite food with Beethoven!)

In addition to leaving us immortal music, Beethoven’s life story also offers students a valuable example overcoming adversity. The remarkable fact that Beethoven suffered from increasing deafness throughout his career is something students won’t soon forget. Even when he lost his hearing entirely, he continued to compose great works. Imagine the perseverance and dedication it would take to work so diligently crafting beautiful pieces he could never hear.

Music teachers have a lot to cover, between musical skills, facts, terminology, history, and more. This poster bundle can help you bring composer studies into the mix in an easy yet effective way. As a stand-alone composer study or a featured “Composer of the Month,” Beethoven deserves a place in your music curriculum, and this Beethoven poster bundle is the perfect reinforcement.


Related Music Lesson Plan and Piano Sheet Music Posts

Handel │ Composer of the Month Music Lesson and Bulletin Board Bundle
Meet Beethoven │ iPad App for Kids
Walls That Teach │ Intentional Decisions for Music Education
Beethoven’s Ode to Joy │ Easy Sheet Music
Beethoven │Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 1



Orff Xylophone Repair Guide – Bluebird Music Lessons

Are you having problems with your Orff Keyboard instruments? Below are a few tips to  bring back the glory days of those instruments.

Buzzing Bars
Is your Orff instrument “buzzing” when played. There are two possible reasons for that. It’s either 1) the bar, or 2)  the resonator box. Here’s how to check. Move the bar you think is buzzing to another spot. If it’s still buzzing it’s the bar. If it’s not buzzing it most likely the glued seams on the resonator box have dried out. If this is the problem, run a bead of Elmers wood glue along the seams and let it stand for a day.

Mallet Repair
If you’re using wood mallets it may be enough to glue the head and the handle back together with Elmers glue. If you have yarn-wrapped mallets, grab some yarn from your local craft store and wrap away.

Mallet Wrapping – YouTube

Out of Tune Bars
This is a tricky one. It’s possible to retune your bars, but maybe better to leave it to a professional.

If you want to try tuning them yourself, here’s a guide:

Build Your Own Orff Xylophone: Step-by-Step Woodworking Plans

If you want to send them off to someone for profession tuning, search Google for:

“Custom Marimbas”

There are several custom instrument builders thay may be willing to serve you.