A few ideas for teaching by Kevin Tuck:
One very important thing that every teacher is taught is that you always need to be prepared for every lesson you teach. Of course, that is if you want to end the day in a stress free fashion!
A lesson plan doesn’t have to be complex, in fact experienced teachers can almost do it without even writing it down, however they do always have something ready and a lesson plan in their head or on paper.
Teaching Music should be a lot of fun, and there are a few ideas that can make it more fun for both the teacher and the class.
1. Mix up the activities
There is a saying that goes “Too much of a good thing….”, and in teaching is is very apt! Even if the children love a particular game or song they will eventually lose interest in it, so make sure you stop while they are still liking it and move onto a new one.
2. Keep the activities short and sweet
Depending on the nature of the lesson it it always best to structure your lesson into short 5-10 minute segments. In a general music/singing lesson at elementary level you would normally start with a song or two, break it up with some percussion or rhythm work and them move onto another song and maybe a game at the end.
3. Do something unexpected every now and then!
Its definitely a good thing to keep the students guessing about what they might expect next! Keep some stability of course, but occasionally you can mix it up by getting them to go outside and play a game, or going to visit another class and singing them a song. If you do this every now and then and it works for you students might start really loving your classes!
4. Have a surprise around every corner
All children love surprises, especially young children! Get your students inspired by having a reward for the best singer one class, then the most well behaved the next! Having little incentives are a great idea, but if you can mix it up with surprises every now and then it’ll be even more effective.
Don’t call it “work” – its a “game”!
Any activity will be more fun if you approach it like you would approach playing a game! So for example if you’re going to do some theory, just say: “Lets go and do some games on the board over here.” One small change to your expressions and what you say will make a huge difference!
6.Keep plenty in reserve
As a teacher you always need to plan more activities than you’ll ever need for every lesson. You can always have a bunch of simple music theory worksheets copied and ready if you need them, and learn a couple of songs that you know will work every time.
Hopefully some of these ideas will help you make your elementary music lesson plans fun and enjoyable for your students.
Kevin Tuck has taught music at elementary and high school levels and also in his own private music studio. Kevin is now editor of music teaching materials for the Fun Music Company.