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Music Workstations: What Can You Do at a Workstation?


Tips and Tricks for using Workstations or Centers in Your Elementary Music Class -This is the BIG list of things you can do.  Composing, singing, writing, reading, dancing and more are all possible with good planning!
This is the second blog post in a series devoted to Music workstations.  Check out the first blog post about Getting Organized for Music Workstations to learn about planning and setting up your teaching space.

In this post we are going to talk about what students will actually do at each workstation.  Often the activities that I have students complete in centers are ones that we've already done as a whole group.  This gives students confidence and results in less off-task behavior.  Not every activity lends itself to this kind of introduction so I always try to include a task card or directions at each station.

In the lists below you'll find links to blog posts (mine and others) and products (mine and others) that may help you in planning and creating activities for your students.

So...what can students do at a music workstation?


Sing

Tips and Tricks for using Workstations or Centers in Your Elementary Music Class -This is the BIG list of things you can do.  Composing, singing, writing, reading, dancing and more are all possible with good planning!


Use puppets and Wee Sing songbooks, lyric sheets from songs you are working on or seasonal songs to get students singing!  I always tell students that the puppets can sing only.  No talking.

Include lyric sheets and have students cover part of the page with sticky notes, poker chips or painters tape and sing through it.  Great for memory work!

Vocalizations-Such a fun way to help students explore their voices.  My kiddos love this one and this one.

Encore-I love this game!

Play Instruments

Print out simple folk songs that are color coded to Boomwhackers or hand bells.
Rhythm Stick Reading  (also try Maraca Rhythm Reading, Triangle Rhythm Reading, Tambourine Rhythm Reading and Rhythm Instrument Reading which uses several instruments.)
Pick a story or poem for students to read.  Have students add sound effects while reading it out loud.
Recorder Composing Station
Xylophone Composing Station


Work on Rhythm

Tips and Tricks for using Workstations or Centers in Your Elementary Music Class -This is the BIG list of things you can do.  Composing, singing, writing, reading, dancing and more are all possible with good planning!

 

Swat the Rhythm
Noodle Notes
Craft Stick Rhythms
Rhythm Blocks (Mega Blocks)
Play Dough Mats   (get them here)
Musical Yahtzee (Layton Music) 
Use Martha Stanley’s Mighty Music Grid to practice drawing notes, composing simple rhythm songs to clap together and more. 
Rap It, Clap It, Music Match It  (I love this one and this one.  Oooo!  And this one is free!)



Practice Identifying Pitch Names

Tips and Tricks for using Workstations or Centers in Your Elementary Music Class -This is the BIG list of things you can do.  Composing, singing, writing, reading, dancing and more are all possible with good planning!

 

Treble Clef Twister
Staff Wars on the Smartboard or tablets, kids love this!  (Shhh!  Me too!)
Flashnote Derby
Bottle Cap Staff-Such a fun way to practice placing notes on lines and spaces, identifying pitch names and “spelling” on the staff.
Create an Original Mnemonic Device –Have students brainstorm new sayings to help remember the lines and spaces of the treble clef staff.
Matching Games
Flashcards and Worksheets
Swat the Staff
Caterpillar Rhythms-See them in action here.

Learn About Instruments

Mystery Instruments  A brown paper bag, a classroom instrument and a detective sheet.
Read about instruments. 
Apps to Try:  JazzyABCs, Garage Band, Virtual Drums, Mini Harp, Music Keys, Piano Pals.  Wow...there are so many more amazing apps I could list here, but to save time I'll let you link me up in the comments section.
Instrument Family Punch Cards
Misspelled Instrument Punch Cards
Instrument Coloring Sheets
Watch videos about instruments from YouTube.  I love the ones that show how an instrument is made.

Read Books and Articles about Music and Musicians

Set up a classroom library!  There are many great books about music, instruments and composers that students love to read.  Books that are also songs are great choices as well as books that can be read rhythmically. 

Composer biographies are great for upper elementary.  Check out www.makingmusicfun.net for free biographies and worksheets.



Composer Coloring Sheet and Bulletin Board –Bulletin Board pieces could be used in a center.


Listen to Great Music

Set up a listening center in your classroom and choose music that coordinates with things you are studying in class.

Add listening sheets to the station to encourage students to listen for specific musical elements.


Color and Write About Music

Tips and Tricks for using Workstations or Centers in Your Elementary Music Class -This is the BIG list of things you can do.  Composing, singing, writing, reading, dancing and more are all possible with good planning!

 

Color by Symbol
Color by Dynamics
Meet the Composer Coloring Sheets
Composer Writing Prompts
Younger students can write or draw about music.
Musical Writing Prompts


Play Games

Tips and Tricks for using Workstations or Centers in Your Elementary Music Class -This is the BIG list of things you can do.  Composing, singing, writing, reading, dancing and more are all possible with good planning!

 

Dynamics Dash and Dynamics Tower-from Denise Gagne’s Music Centers Kits 1 and 2
Bop-It and electronic Simon Says -They are great for rhythm, coordination and melodic memory.
Candy Land-convert and use for note differentiation.
Musical Jenga
Amy Abbott from Music al a Abbott has a great selection of music themed games.  Check them out! 

Everything Else

Talk About Tunes- Students pull out a topic and everyone in the group takes a turn answering.

Teacher Time-Be a workstation!  Use your time with each of the groups to assess pitch matching, instrument skills and more!

You can get a bundle of music workstations in this set:  Music Workstations MEGA Bundle

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Music-Workstations-MEGA-Bundle-1292712




Whew!  That's quite a list to get you started!  This is really just the tip of the iceberg.  There are so many student centered activities that we can plan as part of our regular curriculum that really let students take the lead in their own education.  They are fun and engaging for students and easy to set-up and assess for teachers.

Do your students work in centers or workstations in your classroom?  What kind of activities do you do?  Share with me in the comments.  I'm always looking for another great idea to get kids singing, reading, playing and moving!

The next post in this series is filled with tips and tricks for making workstations work in your classroom.  Music Workstations Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks for using Workstations or Centers in Your Elementary Music Class -This is the BIG list of things you can do.  Composing, singing, writing, reading, dancing and more are all possible with good planning!

3 comments:

  1. Do you have recommendations of books for your classroom library?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do have a list somewhere. I'll post on that very topic soon. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. I had seen a post about your caterpillar rhythms and gave it a try in my classroom--definitely a huge hit! Thanks for knowing stuff! I just posted about it at musicwithmini.blogspot.com :)
    *Ms Mini

    ReplyDelete