In the midst of concert season, I often wonder how music teachers can provide a hands-off (feet-up) approach to lessons without forfeiting an engaging musical experience for students. The answers that pop into my head first are Music Freeze and/or a Sing-a-long.

With that in mind, how do we sing, dance, and have fun in music class while still proving to the administration (who may observe on that final day before break) that we are indeed providing an excellent music education for our students?

Let’s start by taking Music Freeze as an example. Using the Core Arts Standards, I’ve created the following lesson guide template showcasing the standards that are met by playing Music Freeze. The translation may be helpful to your administration to better understand your goal for the activity. I’ve received compliments in the past from administration for doing exactly this in my own lesson plans. You can download the template as a guide for your own lessons by clicking on the image below.
Music Freeze doesn’t have to be solely about moving freely to the music (though that is a major portion of it), you can also create levels of difficulty and focus for each grade level.

For example, if your second graders have been working on barred sixteenth notes, play music with those rhythms and tell students to tap or clap each time they hear that specific rhythm. If your third graders have been working on articulation with their recorders, tell them to hop each time they hear staccato notes. Tell them to pretend to ice skate each time they hear a slurred passage. If your fourth graders are working on composers of the month, quiz them on the composer they hear during Music Freeze.You can follow these same ideas with a sing-a-long. Ask students to listen for and pat specific rhythms they hear. They could also show the dynamics with their hands as they sing or play rhythm instruments with the music.

You could also take a page from Mrs. Tanenblatt’s Blog and have students notate music using cotton balls. You can check out her post here.

Photo used with permission by Mrs. Tanenblatt

KaraFun Karaoke on Youtube is a great resource if you’re looking to do some singalongs with your classes. They have a huge collection of music, often times with different versions of each song.

Safeshare and ViewPure are amazing tools to create student-friendly videos for your classroom.

Simply create a collection of songs from Youtube for Music Freeze or a sing-a-long. Then create student-friendly video links using Safeshare or Viewpure. Finally, store the links in a Word or Google Doc, organized by grade level or concept, and you’re ready to go!

I hope you’ve found these ideas helpful as you enter your final weeks before winter break.

Happy Holidays!

2 Responses

  1. I absolutely love this post. There really are so many ways you can create meaningful musical experiences for students, even with the most frivolous, ridiculously-fun activity! Your freeze dance example is perfect. I'll definitely be pulling out many a lesson like this one next week- wish me luck! #fermatafridays