Lesson Plans

I am lucky that on my campus there are two music teachers. My colleague and I are not only great co-workers but have become best friends. I know this is not the case for a majority of music teachers and even having someone to plan with and collaborate with we both sometimes feel overwhelmed and in need of ideas. I hope that this planning space helps you find some new ideas, new content and to feel less isolated!

Parts of an Elementary Music Lesson Plan

Warm Up

Vocal Warm Ideas

  • Vocal Pathways
  • Toys that Move
  • Tongue Twisters
  • So-La-Mi Game (Poison Pattern)
  • Paint the melodic contour in the air

Rhythm Warm Ideas

  • Rainbow Rhythms (Find it in my blog)
  • YouTube play alongs (clap along)
  • Play a drum track and use rhythm flashcards
  • Poison Pattern

Rhythm Focus

During the rhythm part of your lesson you should focus on experiencing a new rhythm, labeling the rhythm, or practicing reading and writing the rhythm. How you do this depends on what methodology feels best for you, I use an Orff approach with a touch of Kodaly sprinkled in.

Melody Focus

During the melody part of your lesson you should focus on experiencing a new pitch or melodic contour, labeling the new pitch, identifying where it is in a melodic sequence, and then practice singing and writing on the two, three or five line staff.


Movement can be creative or structured, depending on what your comfort level is. I do a little bit of both in my classroom. If I know I have a game planned, which is more structured movement, I may have the children do creative movement to show the rhythm or the melodic contour real quick. Either way, make sure your kids are moving in every lesson. Kinesthetic learners will appreciate this very much!


I make an effort to play instruments in every class, every time. I get that it isn’t always possible, but instrument playing is a huge part of fine motor skill development which elementary age kids need consistent practice. I also do not use instruments as a reward or punishment. What I mean is, instruments are a planned part of my lesson. Very rarely do I take instruments out of the lesson as a form of punishment. I do take a student’s turn away if they are being disruptive or unsafe, but I almost always allow them the opportunity to return pretty quickly.


Play games with your children. Anything can become a you versus them game. You can do play parties, quick reaction games, elimination games, incorporate non-music related games like basketball/trashketball if you guess the right rhythm, anything to learn through play! I try to have a game planned for every lesson, but sometimes we don’t get to play for a variety of reasons.

Helpful Resources:

National Standards for Music

For my Texas Teachers: TEKS