Home School Years

Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Music Theme

Related Posts:

Learning about instruments and making music

Learning about instruments and making music

All About Music: Instruments, Notes and More

The Performing Arts

Songs: Lyrics and Meaning

Mother Goose Rhymes Revised

Recommended Books:

  • Nursery Rhymes Picture-Song Storybooks series by Iza Trapani
  • Finger Plays & Action Songs by Emily Stetson & Vicky Congdon
  • Sing! Play! Create! by Lisa Boston
  • Kids Make Music!: Clapping & Tapping from Bach To Rock by Avery Hart
  • Music For Everyone by Teacher Created Resources
  • Seasonal Storytime Crafts by Kathryn Totten
  • Mop’s Backyard Concert by Martine Schaap
  • M is for Melody: A Music Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin
  • Knick Knack Paddy Whack illustrated by Christiane Engel

Music Videos:

Theme Ideas:

Let The Music Play ~ Play music and allow kids to dance, march around or use household items as instruments, such as pots and pans, wooden spoons, etc. It might get loud and you might find yourself on the kitchen floor banging along (like I did), but that’s part of the fun for them…my son had a blast.

I Can Make Music! ~ Show kids they can make music without instruments by using their body:

  • Clapping
  • Snapping Fingers
  • Stomping
  • Humming
  • Whistling
  • Singing
  • Making Sounds
  • Rapping
  • Yodeling

Storytelling ~ Discuss lyrics and their meanings as a form of musical storytelling. See my post Songs: Lyrics and Meanings.

Create a week-long music lesson plan featuring the following themes:

  • Beat (a pulse or unit of time in a song)
  • Tempo (the speed of a song)
  • Melody (the vocals and tune of a song)
  • Rhythm (keeps the song’s pace through beat)
  • Harmony (sounds that belong together)

Instrument Families ~ Knick Knack Paddy Whack illustrated by Christiane Engel is a great book for this type of lesson. It presents the song in picture story book format featuring kids using various instruments as the story/song plays out. At the end of the book, there is a one page guide discussing instrument families. This Knick Knack Paddy Whack music video is the corresponding video to the book version of the song. Once you discuss the various instrument families, you can play the video and have the child identify the instruments featured.

  • Brass – bell-shaped opening at one end and you blow into them to make sound (trombone, trumpet, tuba and French horn)
  • Woodwind – makes sound by blowing air into it (clarinet, saxophone, oboe, piccolo, flute.)
  • Stringed – are bowed, plucked or strummed to make sound (guitar, violin, harp, cello, bass, lute)
  • Percussion – are struck or shaken to create sound (drums, bongos, tambourine, cymbals, bells, maracas, xylophone)
  • Keyboard – have bars, pipes or strings that vibrate (piano, organ, accordion, synthesizer, electronic keyboard)

Featured Composer ~ Present a brief biography on a classical composer with samples of a piece/song to highlight their work, such as Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker:

Styles of Music ~ Discuss various styles of music developed over time as part of a historical lesson on music:

  • Classical
  • Folk
  • Jazz
  • The Blues
  • Rock’n’Roll

Your Music ~ Talk about bands or songs you (the parent/teacher) grew up with or were influenced by and enjoy listening to. This will help the child make a connection to the music he/she hears you listening/singing along to. It’s so much fun to share that part of us with our kids. We’ll have a music fest of sorts at home sometimes where we’ll take turns playing music videos or listening/singing along to music that each of us enjoys. Another idea is to have a sing-a-long in the car as you drive around – something my sister and her teenage kids are notoriously known for! 🙂 It’s such a great way to expand our kids’ music knowledge and appreciation. In fact, I’ve been talking with my dad about music that I recall from childhood and he’s been able to make connections with those memories for me.

Musicals ~ Discuss what a musical is and some of the more famous musicals on Broadway. List of kid-friendly musicals with a lot of related information on each.

Notes & Scale ~ Identify notes and discuss their values (whole, half, quarter and eighth). This is a fun and effective tutorial to teach notes and values using a family theme. You can also introduce the Doh Re Mi scale.

Writing Activity:

Musical Instrument Match-Up


Collection of music themed crafts

Jokes & Riddles:

Music theme

Online Resources:

  • Starfall website has a Music section featuring various composers. Kids can learn interesting facts about the composer and listen to selected pieces through interactive stories.
  • DSO Kids is another useful source. You can look up music by composer or instrument and play selected pieces. It also has biographical information on composers and descriptions of musical instruments, as well as games and activity ideas.

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This entry was posted on April 9, 2012 by in Music & Rhymes and tagged , , , , , , .
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