What are some VERY SIMPLE yet engaging activities (that don’t involve paper and pencil) that you use on the first days of general music? I teach 4th and 5th grade.

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I use some call and response movement songs ( way down yonder in the brickyard) and a stone passing game. I have also done some body percussion rondos and because I taught 95 percent of them last year we sometimes will do orff instruments on the first day in 5th grade. I like to set the tone of making music right away... prochedures are essential and we do cover those the first day but I make sure we start and end with music.


I am trying a Guess the Mystery instrument. I am putting a hand instrument inside a sealed bag. They can shake it, feel it, and see if they can guess what it is. I have 5 bags and will use equal number teams. Trying it at least.


I like to have students introduce themselves in a circle by having themselves say, “my name is....”. And tap a drum to the syllables of their name.


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I have a hand full of k-5 students who have gone the first half of the school year without music because of remote learning. Our district is moving to 100% traditional teaching after the MLK holiday. Any suggestions for reintroducing concepts to the group of students that’ll be joining us f2f for music the first time this school year?

If anyone needs awesome, fun music activities, search Vincent Bates on youtube. He's a music education professor and has his music education students play music games so we can learn, too!


How do you set up your classroom? What can you tell me about how often you use instruments? What do you do to make them accessible? Thanks so much.


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