Lesson Planning Resources for Music

I have a love/hate relationship with lesson planning. I love planning lessons when it serves a purpose, such as helping me to organize my thoughts or to create a logical and seamless order to classroom activities. I don’t love lesson planning when the plans are required to fit into a template created by someone who is more concerned with educational buzzwords than research-based music education pedagogy. With this in mind, allow me to step off my soapbox for a moment to tell you about my favorite resource for lesson planning.


I can’t remember the first time I heard that name, but it was love-at-first-sight. Planbook met all of my needs and exceeded my expectations. The features of Planbook are seemingly endless, so instead of boring you with a laundry list of pros, I’m going to share the top five reasons I love it for the elementary music classroom (or any classroom for that matter).

1. It’s great for observations.

If I were indicted and had to answer questions about my habits of planning lessons (it could happen), I would have to plead the fifth. Because if I’d already taught a lesson every year prior, and if I knew that lesson like the back of my hand, and if it was always successful, you can bet that I had next to nothing written about it in my planbook. So, when an administrator walked in for an unannounced observation, wanting to see a written lesson plan, I couldn’t exactly hand them a sticky note with two words written on it. “Bee, Bee” isn’t nearly as meaningful as it sounds through the eyes of an outsider.ย Planbookย solved that problem for me because I could recycle successful lessons from the previous year with the simple click of a button. I never had to start over from scratch, and I could easily make minor adjustments every year. So if an administrator walked in to observe a tried and true lesson, I had the paperwork to back it up.

2. I can work from anywhere at anytime.

I didn’t have to worry about whether or not I’d brought home my paper planner (which I still used for many other purposes). I just needed to have a computer and internet access, and I could log in to my lessons and start planning.

3. It’s easy to reference standards.

You can input standards into your plans using a convenient drop-down menu (both state and national standards are represented).

4. I type faster than I write.

Beautiful handwriting was a gift bestowed upon my sister, who I’m convinced should turn her handwriting into a font. My handwriting is horrible, and I’ll use any excuse I can to type instead of write. Plus, I can type much faster, which means spending less time planning lessons and more time playing Zelda Skyward Sword, or some other equally immature past-time of mine.
5. Easy PrintingIt’s easy to print out your lessons in any format you choose (weekly is my preference) to keep them on your desk as a reference throughout the day. That way, if you need to make notes, you can scribble them quickly on the paper, and then record them in the software at the end of the day.


There’s a lot more to love about Planbook, so be sure to check it out if you enjoy online lesson planning. You can try it out for free for the first month, and the yearly fee is well worth the money should you choose to subscribe. By the way, I’m not being compensated by Planbook. I just sincerely love the software as a resource for planning lessons.Planbook is an amazing tool to use in conjunction with paper planners. You can find my ultimate Music Teacher Planner HERE. It’s editable and made specifically for music teachers. Plus, it’s updated every single year, which means you only have to purchase it once!

I’m guessing you have your own favorite resource for lesson planning, and I’d love to hear about it! You can follow the directions below to link up or simply comment to share your favorite resource.


8 Responses

  1. This looks fantastic! What a wonderful resource for those who plan digitally. I am definitely a paper planner myself, but the ease of copying and pasting from year to year, and referencing the standards, sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I used paper planners just to remind myself of what I was doing that day, but they only made sense to me. The online planner was what I used on the weekends to plan out the week. The copying and pasting, plus the standards are definitely a plus ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I actually laughed out loud when you said "Bee, Bee" isn't effective. I have two planners – one for admin and one for me. The admin has 8 page lesson plans. The one for me has a square that says things like "RG3" which is Rhythm Groups 3rd rotation. One of our teachers saw me sketching out the next few weeks and was like, "Is that all you have to do for lesson plans!?!" Um, no! Of course not! I have heard many say Planbook is amazing but I have just not been able to get away from my paper planner and general lesson plan template. I feel like I would be reinventing the wheel by copying and pasting the lessons already written. Thanks for a great post!

    1. Exactly! Some lessons you just know like the back of your hand. Plus, who has time to read through 8 pages when all they need is a quick reminder of what they're doing for the next class? I had back-to-back classes and really no time to prepare in between.

  3. I use the website Common Curriculum. It is a great way to plan and share your lesson plans with admin and co-teachers. Once set-up it is easy to manipulate and you can customize your own lesson templates. Oh, also it's free!

    1. I'm actually signed up for common curriculum, but have never gotten around to taking a look. I'll definitely have to check it out! Thanks for the suggestion ๐Ÿ™‚