Now that winter is upon us, it’s a good time to share ideas on how to incorporate Vivaldi’s Winter into your classroom. In November, I wrote about Vivaldi’s Autumn, and how you can use the piece to teach dynamics, timbre, and form, which you can read HERE.


I think movement in elementary music is vital. However, I also think it’s important to teach students how to actively listen, and sometimes this means staying in one spot and focusing on only the music.
It’s not easy to listen in modern society with all its distractions. One way to help students with active listening, is by providing them with a guide. SQUILT sheets are one way to do this. You can download a set of SQUILT sheets for free here.

Another way to do this is by giving students something to watch as they listen. Graphical notation is a great way to help students see exactly what’s going on in the music.


This is a great piece to discuss the string family. Ask students taking private lessons to bring in their instrument and show it to the class. This gives them a chance to share their knowledge. Plus, it’s fun to watch the rest of the students “ooh” and “ahh” over a new instrument. The video below is a great one for showing off the violin.


I first read about paper-plate skating several years ago in Clare Eggleston’s blog. I remember thinking how inventive and budget-friendly it was. I knew it was something my students would love and it fit perfectly with the winter season.

I’ve taught in a room with all tile flooring and another with carpeting. If I were working with tile, I would stick to having the students skate in their socks. If I had carpet, I would use paper or plastic plates, depending on how fast I wanted my students to skate. Afterall, we don’t want them barreling around the room like Chevy Chase on that waxed sled in Christmas Vacation.