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Music Assignment Starter Ideas

15 Free Music Activities and Lesson Plans for the Classroom

The web is a great place to find free music activities and lesson plans that can be used in the classroom. Here are 15 sites that provide helpful materials for teachers.

Music Quizzes – The Music Tech Teacher provides more than 130 music quizzes and games that can be used in the classroom. Quizzes cover everything from music notes and terms to famous musicians and composers.

Sound Piper – Sound Piper offers a unique page with a wide range of music classroom activities to teach basic elements of music.

The Music Rack – The Music Rack provides free sheet music downloads, staff paper, and other music teacher resources. The site also offers free downloads of public domain piano music.

Levy Sheet Music Collection – The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music contains nearly 30,000 music pieces. Teachers can use the search feature in the online library to find the right pieces for their music class.

Musicards – Musicards are online music theory flashcards. These cards can be used to teach students about note names, key signatures, intervals, triads, piano notes, and guitar notes.

eMusicTheory.com – This site hosts a number of different materials that can only be accessed by members. However, there is a nice section with online music theory drills that are freely available to everyone.

Flash Music Games – This no-frills site offers a wide range of online flash music games for teachers and students. The interactive games help with ear training and instruments like guitars, drums, and piano.

JamStudio.com Education Program – JamStudio.com offers a fantastic education program for schools. Students and teachers who want to use computers to compose music can apply for a free, all-access pass to JamStudio.com.

Voice Lesson Plan – Berklee Music offers this free online voice lesson for teachers and students who want to sing better and stronger. The lesson is an excerpt from the course taught by Professor Anne Peckham.

Music from Across America – Edsitement offers this free lesson plan to music teachers who want to educate students about traditional and ethnic American music. The lesson plan unit includes five lessons in addition to suggested classroom activities.

Music in Movies – ReadWriteThink offers this free music lesson plan for teenage students who want to learn more about movie soundtracks and how music can contribute to movie scenes.

VH1 Music Studio Lesson Plans – The VH1 Music Studio provides a wide range of free music lesson plans that can be used in conjunction with VH1 documentaries and television shows.

Music Games for the Classroom – This ebook from the Fun Music Company provides lots of ideas for music teachers and general class teachers.

This is a Guest post from Karen Schweitzer, the About.com Guide to Business School. Karen also writes about online degree colleges for OnlineColleges.net.

This week is the first group week of the new school year in my studio!  I’m really excited to be starting group lessons again – they’re always my favorite part of each month.   I’ve been busy working on some new activities, which means I’ll have LOTS of new things to post over the next week or two (to make up for all the posting I haven’t been doing recently !).

In my studio, group lessons take the place of regular private lesson during the last week of the month, so the week prior to group weeks, I always give my students extra assignments to keep them busy for the two weeks in between private lessons.  This month, I made up a handout to spark the beginning of some Halloween compositions:

At lessons, I had students read through the starter ideas on the sheet and pick one that they thought looked interesting. We picked a hand position (d minor keeps a lot of the writing “on-staff”) and took turns improvising short melodies, so they could practice putting one note per syllable of text.  Together, we marked their starting hand position on a sheet of blank staff paper (the blank 2-octave keyboard labels from Susan’s site work great for this), and wrote down a title (or at least an “in progress” title!).   I always ask younger students to write compositions out by hand at first, then they have the option of working in Finale at the studio to give their finished piece a professional look.

For a few students who weren’t excited about having to write out a composition, I also gave them the option of picking 2 or 3 ideas off the sheet and improvising ways to make sounds that would match the pictures.  At their next lesson, they get to play their improvisations for me, and I have to guess which pictures they chose!

The song starter sheet is available for download on my website.  I’ve got several improv/composing activities lined up for the next few months, so decided to add an extra tab on the website to keep them more organized.  Stay tuned for more!

Halloween Song Starters
Halloween Song Starters.pdf

A handout with lots of ideas and sample lyrics for elementary Halloween compositions.

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Posted inComposing, Holidays, ImprovisationTaggedhallowenpermalink