Create A Musically Enriched Classroom – Engaging Music Activities for Kids

I am a musician as well as a teacher so I am always looking for ways to incorporate music into my lessons.  In a musically enriched learning environment, students explore connections to music in all different subject areas and are given opportunities to express themselves creatively. Here are my favorite ideas and activities for bringing music into the early childhood classroom.*
guitar girl

1. Use music and songs while you are teaching, and kids will retain information for a lifetime!  Youtube is an awesome resource for songs and videos for kids. Check out this post where I have a list of my favorite music videos all in one place.

2. Scour the internet for creative ideas to use in your classroom. Pinterest is my favorite place to go for this.  Here is a list of my favorite kids music themed resources that I have found (It’s a growing list):

Songs To Sing In The Car – Resources for music lessons and activities parents can do with their kids!

Music Activities for Smartboard – The title explains itself, a site with lots of SmartBoard music activities to use in the classroom.

TLC Music for Kids – Music activities brought to you from The Learning Channel.

ChildrensMusic.Org  – A non-profit music resource for parents, teachers, and kids.

Disney Music Activities Play music games and more on Disney’s Music site!

Music Tech Teacher – Music quizzes, games and worksheets.

50 Music Activities for Kids

 

Books About Music For Kids

DSO Kids Club A site for those who want to learn more about music and the people who make music

The New York Philharmonic Kidszone Games and info on the composers and the musicians that are a part of the NY Philharmonic

Lyrical Legacy – Explore eighteen American songs and poems from the digital collections of the Library of Congress

CreatingMusic.com The goal of this web site is to provide an environment for children to experience creative play in the creation of music, with the same ease they have been able to enjoy with toys, drawing tools, building blocks, puppets, etc.

BSO Kids Kids compose their own music, play online games and print coloring pages of their favorite instruments.

Flash Music Games Create your own simple musical compositions or play a drumkit with your keyboard.

The San Fransisco Symphony Kids Site Play music games or compose your own tune!

150+ Free Kids Songs

3. Bring a piano or keyboard into your classroom.  When students explore the piano they begin to establish a foundation of musical understanding.  You can often find a free unwanted piano sitting around the school somewhere if you just ask around.  I’ve found a couple like this.  You can also check the free section of craigslist but beware of trying to move it!

If you can’t get a piano or keyboard, here are a couple of online keyboards that you could let students use in the classroom perhaps on the Smartboard:

A Nice Simple Keyboard with Piano, Horns, and Other Sound Options. – I use this for simple music composition.

Play these virtual keyboards on a Smart Board or other touch screen

Moog Image

Google Moog, a synthesizer that you can play and record on. Click on the image to the left or click here here to open a new window and play.

Virtual Piano 1  A fun virtual piano that you can play and create rhythms on

Virtual Piano 2 another virtual piano for you to play

4. Practice rhythm with music and movement activities.  I like to have students copy different rhythm patterns I make up. You can use body parts and do things like clapping, snapping, and tapping, or incorporate musical instruments.  You can practice rhythm activities during circle time or when kids are standing in line and waiting to get a drink or something else.  Here are some links to a few rhythm activities for kids:
drummer girl imageEasy Rhythm Activities  A tutorial for teaching children about rhythm

Childhood101.com – Kids Rhythm Activities  Tons of rhythm activities for little ones

Easy Rhythm Activities  A tutorial for teaching children about rhythm

Virtual Drumkit  Play the drums using the keys on your computer’s keyboard.

Web Drum Machine  Another cool web application where you can play a drum machine online. This would be another fun Smart Board activity!

5. Incorporate music related crafts into your day.

Here are some ideas I’ve found for music crafts:

First School Music Crafts Music themed crafts, geared towards preschoolers

DLTK Kids Music Page Music activities, including music related crafts and printables

Speaking of music related crafting, you can make your own instruments out of found and up-cycled materials.

Make your own guitar for your kiddos to experiment and play with or a drum to bang on.  Here are 6 Musical Instruments You Can Make. Here is another site with 10 more ideas for making musical instrument crafts.

*These activities are intended to be used with kids in prek and kindergarten, but can be adjusted to work with younger and older children.

Did You Know? Studies have shown that students become more engaged in activities when they are given multiple opportunities to participate in musical and creative expression throughout the day!

I hope you have enjoyed this post!

Find these and many more music and movement activities pinned to my Music and Movement Pinterest Board!

Have a music activity for PreK or K you want to share? Leave a comment below with your ideas!

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