Updated: Jul 30
Needing a music activity for kids? I've got you covered in this blog post, so, get ready! We are going to cover some music composing activities, music activity worksheets, and music composition website selections used in the music classroom. Make sure to check out the free materials throughout the blog post and let me know how it turns out in your music classroom!
MUSIC LISTENING AND RESPONDING ACTIVITY
One of my favorite things I love to do with my students at the beginning of the year is to get to know them through fun activities and avoid the cheesy ice breakers. So, I do a listening exercise with them where they can show me their humor and creativity and in stress free environment.
How It Works
It's pretty simple to follow and easy to implement in the class. You can have students do it on their individual computers or devices, or listen to the music as a class while they create their interpretation of the music. The students have to create a story or digital drawing of the song they listened to and it has to be an ORIGINAL thought or idea. Some of the songs are from movies, but what's great about this is that they have to exercise listening to the music differently and come up with another fun story to go along with the song.
The Music Drawings
The drawings can be done through Google Images from Google Slides. They just search within Google Slides and drag and drop the image where they want it. They can layer images to give a better understanding of what they picture in their head when they hear the music. It's makes for some funny images and hilarious stories behind them. For this music activity, I give the students the option to present to the class if they want to.
As for the story portion of the activity, they narrate a story to go with the song. I tell them to aim for 1-3 paragraphs depending on the depth of their story. They can add dialogue, vivid adjectives, create characters and scenarios based on what they picture in their head when they hear the music. This is a great way to incorporate some literacy writing into a lesson (hello cross curriculum in the music classroom!). It will also let you see what students excel in writing and students who might need some support.
Regardless, I'm sure you will have a few stories that will keep the class rolling and engaged. I personally like to make my own stories and make them super ridiculous so they can get to know me a little, too. This can easily be adapted into a music activity worksheet, with just some simple places to draw or write their responses. Doesn't have to be anything super fancy or time consuming.
CREATE YOUR OWN MUSICAL CHARACTER
Create your own musical character is a hilarious music activity for kids on an "off-day"; assembly, a lot of interruptions, right before a break, etc. It's a nice one day assignment for kids to engage in some music symbols and creativity.
Music Theory Symbols
It's pretty simple and easy to follow. The students take various music theory symbols they have been taught and then create a character of their choosing. From there, they take the symbols in the Google Slide and create a character using these symbols by overlapping them, making them bigger or smaller, etc. The last slide encourages students to go beyond just creating a character, but giving the character some traits, like what's they favorite food or what is their superpower? The students really get into this.
Does It Work for Older Kids?
If you have older kids (6th to 7th grade), I love to make it challenge of who can make the corniest, cringiest character...one that we all CRINGE at when we see it. They essentially make it a competition and it can get pretty cut throat! I do have kids present these to the class and explain what music symbols they used and talk a little about their character.
Composing music can sometimes be exhausting, especially in a music classroom full of students who aren't professional music composers. But what if you could take out the guess work? Introducing "Take a Chance" music activity for kids of all ages (within reason)!
Take a Chance Composition Project
Essentially, you are taking aleatoric music guide lines and letting students create by chance, it also becomes a great music rhythm exercise too. If you aren't familiar with aleatoric music, check out this Youtube video explaining it.
Music Rhythm Composition
The students create a music rhythm and this can be done by chance or they just make up a 2-4 measure rhythm. If you want to do it with dice, you can come up with a key; 1 = quarter note, 2 = half note, 3 = half rest, etc.
After they come up with the rhythms, they roll the dice for note names for EACH note value. There needs to be a key of music scale degrees. For example, C Major Scale is C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. So, if they roll a 3, the first note value will be put on the pitch E. They do this until all note values are pitched. Then, of course, they can play it on an instrument, input it into a music composition website, or sing solfege to it.
Music Composition Websites
Music composition websites I've used are Chrome Music Lab, Flat.io, Noteflight.com, or Beepbox.co. A super easy music activity for kids and it can be tailored to your music class ability and goals, as well. If you want a more in-depth version of this lesson, feel free to head over to this lesson plan that is mapped out perfectly for 4th-7th graders using Chrome Music Lab. All the music activity worksheets are covered and already made!
Make sure to let me know how each music activity goes in your classroom! I always want to know if it was successful and other fun ideas that might go along with these lessons. Make sure to subscribe at the bottom so that you can get updated with fun music activities for the classroom and ways to continue to engage your students. I'm here to help and make your life a little easier, because being a music teacher is NO JOKE! Hang in there, teacher friend! Take a breath knowing that you got some ideas going into the following days ahead.