+2 votes
1 lesson
In 4-6
1. Choose 3 holidays/festivities and pick a song for each. 2. Google the lyrics, write them down by hand with your best handwriting on a paper. One paper for each song. Decorate the paper. 3. Learn the songs by singing and listening to them on Youtube/spotify or in the easiest way possible.

+2 votes
3 lessons
In 4-6

  1. Watch this, pause regularily and make some notes on a piece of paper.
  2. Work 2 and 2. One start at different places in the video so you only listen to it (don't watch). 
  3. Do a quiz and see how many rights you got. 

Here is a bit more discussion about it.

+1 vote
1 lesson
In 4-6

A video about the instrument groups in an orchestra. Below is the time marks for each group.

0:58 Strings
1:25 Woodwinds
1:53 Brass
2:30 Percussion

Thanks to Andrea Wellmaker

+1 vote
1 lesson
In 4-6

Play music with others

+2 votes
1 lesson
In 4-6

Explain this to a friend:

Then to this Kahoot together. 
Finally try practice some of the theory on real instruments on a simple song. 
Thanks to @musicnotes.

+2 votes
3 lessons
In 4-6

Here is a great video showing you music around the world!

0 votes
1 lesson
In 4-6




What instruments have been used? What is the texture of the song? What kind of timbral characteristics can you hear? What production techniques have been used? What layers are there? 


What are the lyrics saying? In what way do they fit the music? Are any lyrics repeated? What makes the hook catchy? What is the structure of the song like? Does it appear to follow a popular structure, such as AABA or ABABCB? Does the mood of the song change? 


What chords have been used and what do you notice about the use of harmony? Are there any key changes? Is there a chord progression? 


What instruments affect the rhythm the most? What is the purpose of the less rhythmic instruments? Are there rhythmic patterns? Do any of the patterns repeat themselves? Do they happen over a phrase or bar, or does the piece not have any obvious rhythm?


What is the melody like, and what is its range? What main instrument holds the melody? Does the voice have melody? Is this consistent or does it alter? What is the contour like? Or is there no obvious melody? Why do you think that is? 

Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to answer all of these questions in one active listening session! A good idea is to focus on one section of these questions at a time. Every time you listen to the song, you should aim to answer another set of questions. What’s more, these questions are not the only ones you should answer, as they are just a good starting point. The main aim of active listening is to learn things that will help you further your music career. So, ask the questions that you want the answers to. For example, if you want to learn more about song structure then focus on that. 

Active Listening Exercises 

Once you have honed your active listening techniques by getting some practice in, then there are some active listening exercises that you can employ. This will not only help you learn more about a song, but will help to improve your future creations by enhancing your producing and critical listening skills.

+1 vote
1 lesson
In 4-6
InstrumentChamp is an easy way to play drums along with guitar and piano.
intro video on drums

+4 votes
1 lesson
In 4-6

There are 7 major chords: A, B, C, D, E, F, G. They can all be made a bit more "sad" sounding, e.g. E become Em. Some of the chords is easier to start with, for example Em.

If you like Taylor Swift this might be perfect for you. It uses chords Em, A and G. Pause the video and practice each chord. Move between them. It usually is a good idea to practice for a while and then continue the next day, to avoid pain in the fingers. When you master this skill, you might wanna continue with piano.

+1 vote
1 lesson
In 4-6

Teaching Canon Singing

One of the first steps in learning part-singing is through canons/rounds. I love teaching students how to sing in canon- their faces just light up when they are first able to sing in two different parts without my help!! Here is a step-by-step walk through of the teaching process I use to get students singing canons for the first time.


First, a disclaimer: yes, I am aware that canons and rounds are two different things. For the sake of this post I'm going to primarily use the term canon, since that is what is used in most music textbooks that I've seen, but I've included a few references to "rounds" in case some readers are confused ;)

1. When to start

I've honestly taught students as young as pre-kindergarten to sing a canon independently- it can be done at almost any age. BUT I think the ideal age to start working on part singing is at the end of 2nd grade. I focus on it mostly at the beginning of 3rd grade, but I like to throw it out there at the end of 2nd grade as an exciting challenge to keep them engaged when the end of year crazies set in. Although younger children can certainly be taught to perform a song in canon independently, most of them will do so by ignoring the other part completely and won't have a true "part-singing" experience (so what's the point?). Focus on pitch matching and quality vocal tone with your younger students.

2. Picking a song

Of course to teach students to sing in canon, you need a good song to start with! My favorite one to use is this one about an obnoxious cat. This is a loose translation of a French song called Miaou, Miaou, La Nuit Derniere:


The kids love this song because it's funny. I like it as a first canon song because each phrase that the students end up singing simultaneously has a different rhythm and pitches so you can clearly distinguish each part, which helps them stay on their own part when they first start singing in canon. You can find lots more great canons in this list from Beth's Music Notes.

3. Teaching the song

The key to any new part singing endeavor is to make sure students are able to sing their part confidently. I always start teaching the song without doing it in a round at least 2 classes before we start talking about canon singing. The other key element for helping them sing their part confidently is motions. Although having different rhythms and pitches for each phrase helps them distinguish their parts, having the motions to go with it make a huge difference because they can visually see which part they are singing, and kinesthetically show what they're singing. It engages them more fully in the song and helps them stay on their part. It doesn't matter what the motions are, but make sure that each phrase has its own motion.

I start off teaching the motions first- I tell them we are learning a new song and have them listen to me sing it while they mirror my motions (in the case of the cat song, I make sure to make angry faces etc as well!). Then students learn the song by echoing after me one line at a time with their voices and the motions, and finally sing the song together with me, still doing the motions. We review the song again next class as a "regular song" to make sure they know the words, melody, and motions well.

4. Developing independence

Once they've had a few days to let the song "sink in", it's time to get them singing in canon! Hopefully after singing the song several times over a period of a week or so this step is easy, but I make a big deal about telling them that they are going to learn something tricky today and tell them the first step is to sing the song without my help. First I stop singing and just do the motions with them, and then I stop doing the motions as well (at each step in this process, if they seem at all hesitant I have them try again and make sure they can do it confidently before moving on to the next step).

5. Teacher as "part 2"

Once they can sing the song on their own confidently, I tell the students I am going to try to be sneaky and distract them, but they should do their best to sing the song again exactly the way they just did and don't let me distract them (they usually get really excited about this!). I have them start the song, then I enter (singing softly and without the motions) as part 2 (in measure 5 for the cat song). If even my quiet singing is too much for them, I'll try avoiding eye contact as well- I've even done it by going behind them and singing from the back where they can't see me. If they can stay on their part, I tell them, "Well that was obviously too easy for you! I went easy on you that time, but I'm gonna really try to get you this time!" and have them do it again while I sing full volume and with the motions. Once they can do that, it's time to split them up into parts themselves.

6. 2-Part canon

The next step is to split them up into 2 parts. The key here is to make sure you have your most confident singers split up between the 2 groups- while they're practicing singing in canon with me, I watch to see which students are able to confidently hold their own and make sure they are split up between the parts. I start each part and then help them along with motions and/or singing if either part starts to lose it! Once they make it through the song, I switch part 1 and part 2 and do it again.

7. 3 (or more)-Part canon

If the song is long enough to allow it, I like to split up the class into more parts after that! With the cat song you can go up to 3 parts, which is plenty for 2nd graders. Again, I make sure to give each group a turn singing the first, second, and third parts, and I make sure to split up the most confident singers on each of the parts.

Once the students have mastered canon singing, they're ready to move on to partner songs! Check out my next post in this series to read about how I teach those :) What are your favorite rounds/canons to start your students on? What age do you start teaching canon singing? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks to caldwellorganizedchaos

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