If you’ve been a teacher of young children’s classes you’ll know one very important thing: you always need have a lesson plan. That is, if you want to end the day in a positive frame of mind!
A lesson plan doesn’t have to be complex, and teachers who have been in the game a while can do it almost without thinking, 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. Do a variety of 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.Each segment should be short and to the point
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! You should always keep some stability of course, but you may wish to break it up by heading out to the playground for a lesson with some games, or visiting another class to sing them a song. Do something unexpected and you’ll suddenly find that some students really love coming to your class!
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 if you’re going to do rhythm clapping for example, instead of saying “Let’s do some rhythm work”…. say “Lets play a rhythm game!” with a big smile on your face! You’ll be amazed at the difference one small change to the way you describe it makes!
Always have plenty of “spares” up your sleeve!
Whenever you’re lesson planning make sure that you keep plenty of material in reserve, and always have far more than you need for each lesson. This isn’t that hard – just have a couple of songs that you know well that you can pull out if you need them, and a few music theory worksheets that you know will be fun and easy.
Your music lesson plans will be much more fun and enjoyable for your students with a couple of these simple ideas.