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Music Lessons During School Closures

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Music Lessons During School Closures: How to compile and create lessons for online learning during school closures, such as closing for COVID-19

Here in the state of Ohio, as of the end of this day this upcoming Monday, all schools will be closed for at least three weeks because of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. Many of you are likely feeling stress and anxiety over the disease, let alone creating work to give your students during the closure! In this blog post, I’m detailing several activities and units that would be good for at-home work. Many of the activities do require technology, but I’ve also included some alternatives that don’t require much technology (besides an email account to get the directions and a printer to print the materials.) I’ve also included some free resources and links, so keep reading!

Drawing to Music (Grades K-1)

For this lesson, students could listen to a few songs or pieces of music, and write and draw about which song or piece of music was their favorite. The worksheet can be downloaded for free here.  You could provide a playlist in YouTube for them to listen to, or you could simply ask their parents to choose three of their favorite songs for their children to listen to, which could be a great home/ music connection!

Moods in Music (Grades 1-2)

In this lesson, students could explore how moods and emotions are connected to music. I’ve created this hyperdoc, which you can make a copy of and add to your drive to share with your students. When working with the hyperdoc, students can choose whichever video, game, etc. they want to explore, to learn about moods in music. The “emotions” activity might not work after two weeks, because the fast pin will expire, but you can add it to your library for free here, then assign a new pin.

Students really enjoy working with hyper docs, because they have so much freedom to choose! This lesson could take 1-2 “lessons,” depending on how long your typical music classes are, and how much exploration you’d like them to do.

Symphony Orchestra Project (Grades 3-5)

This is a PBL that I put together last year and did with my fourth graders; it could work well for a project at home. You can send the workbook included in the PBL to students as well as the YouTube playlists, but if you wanting to not worry about inappropriate commercials on YouTube, you can use these playlists:

This project could easily take four “lessons” to complete, as listening to the videos, choosing which ones they’d like, and creating their program can take quite a while.

Instruments of the Orchestra (Grades 3-5)

In this unit, students can explore instruments of the orchestra, using any of the following activities/ materials:

This lesson could take 3-4 “lessons.” For example, in the first lesson, they could work with the hyperdoc, in the second lesson, they could explore the Young Person’s Guide, and in the third lesson, students could explore the SFS Kids website and fill out a couple worksheets.

Note naming on the Treble Clef Staff (Grades 3-5)

In this unit, students can explore lines and spaces on the treble clef staff. Students could watch these three videos:

Then, students could practice note naming with this game.

Afterwards, they could fill out any of these treble clef worksheets.

This could easily take two lessons, and even more, if you extend it to having students compose their own melody on the lines and spaces on the treble clef staff with a website such as flat.io.

Music at Home Bingo (K-5)

Jennifer from SingToKids put together this awesome (and free!) bingo set. The links are within the PDF, so students could print one to keep track of what they've done, and use the digital version to visit the links!

Rhythm (Grades 1-5)

In this lesson, students could use the Rhythm Trainer Website to practice dictating rhythm patterns. This works best for ta and ti-ti, quarter rest, tika-tika, ti-tika, and tika-ti Then, you could have students fill out worksheets for any of these rhythmic concepts:

I don’t have worksheets for ti-tika, or tika-ti, but my friend Debbie O’Shea from Crescendo Music has these videos, which could be a fun rhythmic reading activity. You could tell students to play the videos and read the patterns!

"Free Choice" Plans (Grades K-5)

Recently, I added these emergency music lessons to my store, for sub plans, but just realized they could work in this scenario as well!

For each grade level, students hit “present” in Google Slides, then choose whatever they want! The only adaptation you’d have to make is to either tell them to skip the book activity in each file, or provide a video for that part of the lesson. 

I've also created a set for recorder, if your students have recorders at home; I'll be creating one for B, A, G, and E soon.

Here are a few other helpful links about the same topic:

I hope this has been helpful as you create lessons for online learning. Stay healthy!

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