For the first hearing, have students move to the beat of the music. You can use locomotor or non-locomotor movements depending on your room size. Download the movement worksheets below for movement vocabulary and ideas. If you have scarves or ribbons, now would be a great time to use them!


Giving students a chance to listen while moving accomplishes two things. First, they get steady beat practice, which is a necessity at every grade level. Second, they will begin to hear the patterns in the piece, which is a stepping stone to the next part of the lesson.


Classics for Kids is an amazing website with excellent free resources for listening lessons. This free listening map is perfect for students to gain a better understanding of the form.

You can print out maps for each student to use. Or you can project the map onto your board and create tapping motions for each section.

Teacher Tip: Ask a student to come up and tap the beat on the board using your baton or other pointer. This is an easy way to recognize students who are putting forth their best effort or students who need a little encouragement. 


Once your students have a handle on the form of the piece through tapping, try mixing it up with paper plates. Here’s how:

1. Pass out two paper plates to each student. You can find a 90 count package at Dollar General for $2.00. Avoid foam plates, they are prone to breaking. Also, it sounds like nails on a chalkboard when they’re rubbed together.

2. Break the class into groups A, B, C, D, and E to represent each section of the form.

3. Tell students to create a movement for their section. It should be a steady beat movement that reflects the mood of their assigned section. Give each group a listening map for reference.

4. Play through the piece one or more times to give students time to practice their movement.

5. Have the students perform the piece standing in a circle. Have them stand in order from group A through group E to highlight the order of the sections. For an extra challenge, have the students copy each section as they move.

Below is a video showing some different ways to show steady beat with paper plates:

2 Responses

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I've really been inspired by videos where students are using paper plate movements in their programs. I think it's an awesome way to highlight art music and show parents the concepts students can learn through it 🙂