If you’re planning to spend some time this summer revamping your studio and looking for fresh and fun ideas for the fall, you should be able to find some inspiration and helpful resources from this guest post by Claire Hines, of the Fun Music Company.
What does the 21st music classroom need? From music posters and kid-sized instruments to fun music albums, find out how to create the ultimate music experience for students in your classroom.
The Primary Classroom
When you teach young children on a day-to-day basis, your classroom reflects the vibrancy, energy, and life of the young child with colorful music posters on the wall with simple diagrams of music notation to the fun music props and instruments that you use during music time. Classroom materials, from music flash cards to recorded music, need to reflect a fun educational atmosphere.
The primary music classroom centers on kinetic music activities. Line the walls with colorful trunks or bookshelves stocked with essentials like a large rainbow parachute, colorful beanbags, rainbow scarves, puppets, and small percussion instruments like Toca egg shakers. Depending on space available, you may want to invest in child size mats or bright colorful towels for musical movement activities involving dance or yoga.
Stickers, Posters, and More
Posters in every music classroom can change thematically throughout the year. For example, during a jazz unit, posters about jazz instruments like the saxophone or artists like Charlie Parker can help students learn about jazz history. Classical music timelines are helpful for older students learning Western classical music while simple colorful diagrams of the treble clef and basic music theory will help young ones learn their note values.
Stickers and rewards remain an important part of every music classroom. Check out our printable Music Practice Charts and Stickers, meant to inspire and motivate young students to practice. For fun music rewards and toys, check out sites like The Music Stand (http://www.themusicstand.com/) and the Oriental Trading Company (http://www.orientaltrading.com/) or sites like Zazzle (http://www.zazzle.com/), where you can purchase music stickers and posters and upload your own music designs.
Fun music games are instrumental in teaching students new concepts. Flashcards are excellent memory tools for young students and should be a part of any classroom. Fun interactive computer music games and printable music games employ tested techniques, fun graphics, and enjoyable play to help students learn valuable concepts.
Music, Books, and Media
Excellent music books and media abound for youngsters. Enjoy this short list of must-have music titles and recordings.
- The Wee Sing Songbook Series
- I make music by Eloise Greenfield
- Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
- Story of the Orchestra (Book/CD) by Robert Levine
- Lives of the Musicians by Kathleen Krull
- The Animal Boogie (Book/CD) by Debbie Harter
- Creepy Crawly Calypso (Book/CD) by Tony Langham
- Carnival of the Animals: Classical Music for Kids (Book/CD) from Henry Holt and Co.
- Putumayo Kids Presents: Dreamland – World Lullabies (CD) by Putumayo
- Putumayo Kids Presents: Kids World Party (CD) by Putumayo
- Ella Jenkins “Songs Children Love to Sing” (CD) by Ella Jenkins
- Ella Jenkins “This is Rhythm” (CD) by Ella Jenkins
- Beethoven’s Wig: Sing Along Piano Classics (CD) by Richard Perlmutter
- Raffi “The Singable Songs Collection” (CD) by Raffi
- Sweet Honey in the Rock “Experience 101” (CD) by Sweet Honey in the Rock
- Eebee’s Adventures “Music & Sound” (DVD) by Eebee’s Adventures
For the primary classroom, classic Orff instruments and fun kid-size drums from Remo and LP give your students a chance to practice simple rhythms, melody, and harmony. The Remo Kids Make Music Too Kit provides small percussion instruments like finger cymbals and a guiro.
Many music educators use the recorder to teach students basics about melody and performance. Finding the right type of recorder for the classroom depends on your use. For schools on a budget, you can find inexpensive (and easily replaced) recorders at an affordable price online like the Yamaha Yrs-20 soprano, or you can opt for more durable versions like the Yamaha YRN-302B.
Yamaha instruments remain an excellent instrument brand for beginning instrumentalists and includes a wide array of brass, woodwind, string, and percussion instruments at affordable prices for most music programs. Yamaha instruments can be purchased directly from Yamaha or from secondary companies worldwide.
Putting together your own music classroom involves some time, preparation, and resources. Create a fun musical zone full of colorful posters and exciting games, flashcards, and music activities.
This is a guest post by Claire Hines from The Fun Music Company. The Fun Music Company creates Music Lesson Plans for music teachers worldwide.