Are you teaching grade 3 music lessons? This article gives you an overview of a typical grade 3 music lesson plan, and shows you how you can implement it, no matter how much experience you have teaching music!

Grade 3 Music Lessons

What you need to teach Grade 3 Music Lessons

You don’t need massive amounts of musical skill for teaching a grade 3 music lesson, and you don’t need hours of specialized training or conferences. However you do need one thing!

Organization is the most important skill that you need if you want to teach music to grade 3.


Maybe you have the best ideas in the world but if you don’t have them ready, you’ll be over run with poor behavior. Activities need to be easy for your children to understand, and they need to sound good from the start.

What are grade 3s like?

Children in year 3 are still quite young and they are gregarious and full of unbounded enthusiasm! According to the Northeast Foundation for Children at grade 3 their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skill are improving, they are easygoing, open to learning and ready to be challenged! *(1)

*1 Northeast Foundation for Children , Inc (2011). Know Where Students Are developmentally. [online] Available at:

Year 3s also have a downside: they have varying attention spans of between 8-30 minutes.

Grade three students may say phrases such as “I can do anything”, until they actually try it! They may find music challenging and can give up, feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

How can you cater for the diverse needs of a grade 3 class, yet fulfill the requirements of your curriculum and have fun, impactful music lessons every week?

You just need a consistent framework for your classes, so that the children will know what to expect and can come to music class with the certainty to know that they will have fun and enjoy their experience of music.

Here are 3 key core components to give a framework for every grade 3 music lessons:

  • #1 Children should SING & PLAY in every grade 3 music lesson

  • #2 Master musical SKILLS in small “game-like” segments

  • #3 Encourage exposure to all kinds of music with CONNECT and use insights to create and COMPOSE.

#1 Children should SING & PLAY in every Grade 3 music lesson.

The more you can get your year 3 classes actively singing and playing music, the more effective you will be.

Children in grade three need fun songs with actions and “catchy” words!

Yes, having a talent for playing guitar or piano can be helpful. Yes, you need to learn teaching techniques and strategies. Yes, you want to memorize names quickly.

But all of that is secondary to understanding what children in year 3 music classes really want. What children in grade 3 really want is to play the instruments in their classroom!

They want to play ALL of them, and they are keen to play them together as a class band!

What instruments should children play?

The instruments that most year 3 students are most capable of playing are standard classroom percussion instruments.

These include tuned instruments such as xylophones and glockenspiels.

Plus they can play lots of untuned percussion instruments including drums, tambourines, claves and shakers.

Typical SING & PLAY Lesson content

In this video, I’ll show you how your students can go from not knowing what xylophones and glockenspiels even are onto how to play an entire year 3 song in less than 10 minutes. Bookmark this page for complete tutorials and materials to use with your students.

The Fun Music Company has a fundamental philosophy that inside every music lesson there is SINGING and PLAYING.  All students should be actively involved in making music, and this is a fundamental part of every child’s education.

That’s why the most important core component a teacher can have in a grade 3 music class is including opportunities for children to SING and PLAY.

#2 Master musical SKILLS in small game-like segments

Now let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of learning music in grade 3.

You know your grade 3’s are open to learning, but too much can be confusing. Therefore what is the optimal way to help them understand?

The answer is to learn ONE concept at a time!

In this video, you’ll see how we move from something known (clapping)  into an unknown concept (dynamics).

We also do this without too many words and making it like a game!

Check it out in this video:

The video above comes with a free recorded backing track, so you can start putting this into practice. This will make it easy for your students to easily understand the concept and helps them sound GREAT from the start.

Furthermore, having a successful start means they’ll want to do it over and over again. They think they’re playing a fun 5 minute game, but what they’re really learning is important musical and life long skills of sensitive listening!

The Fun Music Company Curriculum Program is the single best resource that we are aware of for someone who wants to save LOTS of out-of-hours prep time and hassle of making these game-like activities yourself from scratch.

Interested? You can get a free trial for 7 days – all we ask is that you let us know how you get on!

#3 Encourage exposure to all kinds of music with CONNECT and use insights to create and COMPOSE.

It is understanding what we hear and using what we learn to create that forms the remainder of the content.

First, we understand with our CONNECT listening program. This gives a structure and a framework to the music students listen to. In addition it highlights the really important concepts of music and builds the student’s understanding.

Secondly, we create with our COMPOSE program. This gives opportunities for students to create their own music.

Every lesson in the Fun Music Company Curriculum program has either a CONNECT listening lesson, or a COMPOSE activity.