Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Get Your Song On: How To Use Music In The Classroom To Engage Your Learners!

Love them or loathe them? If there are two things I know about children it is this: children love singing and children love games! I always start a class with a fun song or a game, and end my classes the same way. The reason is simple: because your students will come to class excited to learn and will leave with a smile on their face. (And don't tell my students I cram in all that tough learning stuff into the middle...) Anyone can add music to their daily classroom routine AND it can be educational, as well as fun. So let me take you inside my world of music and learning to inspire your inner musician.

I'm kicking off my first ever blog post with a fun brain break FREEBIE! Down By The Bay is a brilliant song for any classroom because it is an echo song which will assist students that are developing their pitch and it focuses on rhyming, a skill which can be tricky for students to learn.

Click the link on the line below to get your FREEBIE:

After every line that I have sung, your students can echo the lines in this interactive song. Within the powerpoint presentation you can use the play mode to click on the middle box to reveal a new rhyme. I have also left a fun interactive surprise at the end of the song that I am sure will amuse all.

You can create a class song book to go with Down By The Bay by having students publish their own rhyming page with the template provided in the package.

I also have my students make a mini flip book to go with this song so they have their own copy to keep. In their individual flip books students can create and illustrate their own rhyme. In this divine little picture, Jaida has made her own rhyme and illustration of "a frog on a log." Activities such as this allow for your students to extend their learning beyond the classroom, as they can take their song flip books home and sing with their parents.

A simple little singing game that is a hit with all my primary classes is "Bee, Bee, Bumblebee". I have made a short singing sample of this song for teachers that are unfamiliar with the tune and added a backbeat to highlight the steady beat. Just click on the link below and you can learn this simple song. Tip: To hear the sample song in TuneScoop you need to click the play button at the very bottom of the page (the middle play button will lead to you to some non related advertising).

Click on the link on the line below to hear my version of Bee Bee Bumblebee:
Bee Bee Bumblebee Song

Don't let the bizarre lyrics and simply melody deter you from trying this with your class. If you play this game the Tweet Music way, your students will love it!

How to play: Once you have taught students the song, instruct them to make a standing circle. To begin the game one student is selected to "pass the clap" around the circle. Then every student after the first follows suit by clapping the next beat and the clapping continues from student to student until the song ends. The students that take their claps on the words "buzz, buzz, buzz" are out, and those three must sit down. Play then continues by repeating the song again until only one student remains.

The point to this game is for students to feel the steady beat of the song, and to demonstrate it by clapping ON the beat. If students rush their claps or begin to clap out of turn, I simply assist by pointing to each student as they are meant to clap.

I love this game for so many reasons:
1) It is a simple, but effective way to practice steady beat.
2) The "winner" is determined by luck, not skill, and because of this my students love that they all have an equal opportunity to win a game. I always reward my students with a special "winners" sticker for a bit of extra excitement!
3) It can easily be differentiated for various age levels and abilities: for young students I play the beat on a drum so they know when it is their turn to clap and for older students I have them say the syllables individually on their turn for rhythm practice.
4) My students love it! They could play it over and over again, and never tire of it.

Now,  if you've read this far then let me take a moment to say g'day! I am Chrystine, a music teacher from Sydney, Australia. I started my TpT store last year with one vision: to bring more music into homes and classrooms. I've always believed that learning that is fun, is learning that is memorable and so I try to put a little piece of this belief into every resource I make.

In closing, I'd love to hear how you are going to use music and learning in your classroom? And remember, don't be afraid to get your song on!

Graphics provided by:
Graphics From The Pond


  1. Your resources are fabulous - I can't wait to try them out! I've yet to encounter a child that doesn't love the combination of music and learning. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm looking forward to your next post :-) Lisa

  2. I love the songs you picked for your first blog post! - Jenni B.

  3. Both of these songs are fantastic! As a second year music teacher, I have already had colleagues and classroom teachers ask me about fun songs to implement into their classroom's learning... and these two are perfect!

  4. You are right! Kids LOVE TO SING! We have fun singing in my classroom even if I don't sound so great! These resources are great and my kids will love using them. We are talking about rhyming words now. Perfect! I am a big fan!

  5. Great that you've started blogging! I love the Down By the Bay Freebie and Bee Bee Bumblebee is a wonderful song for use with younger grades! :)

  6. These are great songs and I know kids will love them! I am a big believer in using music in the classroom, especially with my ELL students. My daughter and I wrote a Quality Student song that really helped our students to learn that concept of quality and my daughter has 3 year olds. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. Great first post! I will be following and incorporating your ideas as well! Thanks!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing! I have just returned from a year long maternity leave (in Canada) and I can't wait to try this out - I know my students will LOVE them!!!!

  9. Great first post! I'll be subscribing to your blog! Congratulations on getting it started! Thanks for the freebie! :)

  10. Loved reading every word. We play music often and it really does boost the mood of the classroom, help develop a safe place where we can just all let loose every once in a while and it helps increase the pace of the room at times. Thank you for a great read while I am home for a snow day. - Alisa

  11. Thanks again..I am having such fun looking and getting your freebies. I just do not know how you find the time to do all this.

  12. Love the Down by the bay lesson and can't wait to use it! I'm glad you posted something on Facebook so I could find your blog. About to be a follower!

  13. hit it out of the park with your first post! Love your ideas!

  14. hit it out of the park with your first post! Love your ideas!

  15. I am so glad that you are blogging! I LOVE these ideas! I am following you via email so that I won't miss out on any of your blogs! Thanks!!!

  16. Great first blog! I do not have a blog, but love reading others. I love your ideas.

  17. I love the songs. i am a kindergarten teacher and i know that my students will love this. but it's difficult for me to download the freebie.

  18. Music fans! A great place to find the alternative music you love and discover some new tunes you'll enjoy is this website.

    Latest Nigerian Songs & Music

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