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Teaching Music During School Closures

Teaching music during school closures can be a challenge. Distance learning for group performances, singing, making music together can't be replaced.  Games, activities, videos and project ideas for music remote learning are listed here.  Free downloads too!

Let's face it, nothing can replace a classroom full of music making.  Singing, dancing and playing instruments joyfully together must be experienced authentically in person.  When that isn't possible, what should we do?  I'm afraid I don't have a perfect answer, but I'd like to share a few ideas with you and I hope that you can use them or find that they are a springboard for your own creativity.

Make Music
Incredibox (free on PCs, paid app for tablets and phone) Students can create loops using many different sounds and then share them with you.  Assign THIS free project to have students create music for different movie scenes and email you their mixes through Incredibox.
Isle of Tune - I try not to play with this very often because I lose huge chunks of my life to it.  Free on PC.  Build a town with a musical twist.  Elements like light posts, houses and trees are the sounds and cars drive down the road and "play" the composition.
Play Boomwhackers - Encourage students to notate melodies with crayons or markers.  Write a rhythm using Boomwhacker colors and perform on these digital Boomwhackers.
SING! Mrs. Miracle has some fabulous suggestions to keep your kids singing.

Music Theory
Staff Wars (free on PCs, $ .99 for tablets and phones) Practice pitch names in a seriously cool game.
Music Tech Teacher - games, worksheets and quizzes
Music Games from Plank Road Publishing -high/low, pitch names and more
Compose Your Own Music (Classics for Kids) -drag notes to compose, students can share their composition by emailing you a link.
The Rhythm Trainer - rhythmic dictation.  You pick what note values to use.

Music Games
PBS Music Games
Music Symbols Matching Game

Music History
Learn About Composers (Classics for Kids) - Have students read about a composer of their choosing and write a 5-7 sentence paragraph to summarize what they have learned.  I use THIS template for paragraph writing.
Composer of the Month - A great website with composer biographies and links to biography videos.

YouTube Awesomeness
Carnival of the Animals - Use with this set of listening worksheets.
TVO Music Videos -not YouTube, but a great collection of videos for kids
Short Composer Biographies by Five Minute Mozart
Music Concepts Videos by Music K-8 - I LOVE these videos and so do my students.  They are great for introducing or reinforcing a concept and could be used before a worksheet or assignment.  Concepts include forte/piano, presto/largo, major/minor, etc..  Try this free interactive game about musical opposites from Linda McPherson or these free high/low worksheets by Sara Bibee.

Learn About Instruments
New York Philharmonic KidZone (requires Flash)
Classics for Kids - a variety of fun and engaging activities

Star Spangled Banner Evaulations -Links and free worksheet.
Build an Instrument -resources from Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Rubber Band Harmonica -It's not a beautiful sound, but it works!
DIY Music Instruments - Several ideas for crafting instruments at home.

Netflix, Vudu, Hulu and other streaming services have several musicals that your students might love.  Try out some of the worksheets in this free musicals sampler.  There are complete sets for many musicals in this bundle.

Remember that when posting worksheets for students that you must protect the property of the copyright owner by placing the worksheets in a secure environment.  That means that the files must not be available for the whole Internet to download if they want.  Secure them on your school website with a password or a file service like Dropbox.  Send parents the link and the password.  You can also send the files via email or Google Classroom too.  Students must login to access them this way.

If you liked these ideas, PIN THEM for later!
Teaching music during school closures can be a challenge. Distance learning for group performances, singing, making music together can't be replaced.  Games, activities, videos and project ideas for music remote learning are listed here.  Free downloads too!

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Free Music Workstation Round Up

Music workstation freebies from popular TeachersPayTeachers music teachers.  Make centers come alive with these freebies for your music classroom.

I've rounded up some of my favorite music workstation freebies.  They are from some talented musicians that share their ideas via their blogs and/or Teachers Pay Teachers.  Enjoy!

Note and Rest Duration Chart - It's simple.  It's clean.  It's handy.  I have about 10 laminated copies of  it because I use it all the time!  Check out this freebie from Sara Bibee.

Eighth Note Dancing Raccoon Game - My kiddos love ALL of Linda McPherson's games.  I use them on tablets and on my Smarboard.  So much fun!  And this one is free!

We are Dancing Composition Freebie - Aileen Miracle has so many great ideas for centers.  Check out this blog post for some ideas for creating workstations that make your students composers. Click on the We are Dancing picture to go to the freebie.

Headbandz Some day I am just going to show up at Amy Abbott's classroom and sing and play with her all day!  I love all of her song sets and games.  This freebie is great for a workstation.

10 Games for Rhythm Cards - SO many of these ideas can be used in workstations.  These ideas are from Lindsey Jervis from The Kodaly Inspired Classroom.

American Composers Coloring and Facts Sheets - You probably know Cori Bloom for all of her amazing listening sets, but this freebie is one of my favorite Cori products.  I like to include a worksheet or coloring center in each of my rotations if I can.  I use this one each year.

American Composers Flip Books - When I used these fabulous, free flip books I assembled them for my students and they used their workstation time to research and color the books.  I LOVED the finished product and I bet you will too.  Jena Hudson has done a fabulous job making these books quick and easy to complete.

Beethoven Biography and Worksheet - Bryson at That Music Teacher uses this for his sub tub, but it makes a PERFECT workstation for my 5th graders!  Read a biography and answer some questions.

Station Signs for Music Learning Centers - David Row from Make Moments Matter has a great set of stations signs that you can use to organize your workstation rotations.  Be sure to read this blog post to learn more.

Want MORE freebies?  I have 14 in my store and some are designed for workstations.  Check them out HERE.

Like these ideas?  PIN them for later.

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Books for Women's History Month in the Music Room

I love adding featured books to my classroom library for special months, holidays and events.  Here are a few of my favorite books for Women's History Month:

1.  Beyonce: Shine Your Light
Yep.  A book about Beyonce that is perfect for the elementary music classroom.  This has been a favorite of my students since I added it to our classroom library last year.

2.  Ella Fitzgerald (Little People, Big Dreams)
This book is for lower elementary students and tells the story of Ella Fitzgerald.  I love the illustrations in this book.  It is part of a larger series of books that I would love to have for my daughter.

3.  Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors
So, I basically love everything Dolly and this book is delightful!  The illustrations are beautiful and the story of this song is as delightful as the song itself.  I also like THIS book on Dolly for older students.

4.  A Dance Like Starlight:  One Ballerina's Dream
This book is actually fiction but is basically a tribute to Janet Collins, the first ballerina of color to perform at the Metropolitan  Opera.  Love this story!

5.  A Voice Named Aretha
  Aretha Franklin's story is beautifully illustrated in this picture book.  I learned quite a bit about this amazing woman myself from this book!

If you liked these ideas, PIN THEM for later!
Women's History Month books for the music classroom.  Musicians, music teachers and music students will love these stories of great female musicians.

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