How to Structure a Music Lesson

Music is a subject that involves the whole-person. Teaching music is a bit like teaching sport, which means that warm ups and cool downs are a good idea. Musical games are always helpful too 🙂

Here is a possible structure to be used in a music lesson:

  1. Warm up
  2. Skill Teaching
  3. Skill Practice
  4. Sharing Discussion
  5. Extension (if required)
  6. Cool down

Here’s an example of a lesson (using the above structure) which focused on teaching ostinatos or ‘singing/playing in rounds’:

Warm up: Heads and Shoulders Baby (clapping and singing game)

Skill Teaching: Break song into parts, sing one part of song at a time (echo), sing all together and then split class into 2, 3 and finally 4 parts.

Skill Practice: To sing a song as a round.
Weather Body Percussion Ostinato:
• Thunder Lightening (hands and knees)
• Pitter Patter (hands on shoulders)
• I am so wet (clap, clap, clap, rest)
• Wind (stomp on accent and hands rub together)
Name Syllable Ostinato:
• Go around the circle and clap each student’s full name as a set of syllables.
• Group similar names together.
• Start each group clapping in parts (keep strong 4 count beat).
• Get some groups to play softer and louder for variation.
Instruments: Using Glockenspiels
Split class into 3 groups (ability)
Each group to pay separate part on their glockenspiel
Bass: C G C G
Middle: E C E C

Sharing discussion: How could we write that down so that we could play it again if we wanted to? Teacher models written chart on the board.

Extension: Try improvising again and adding percussion.

Cool Down: This is my Trunk I’m a Tall, Tall Tree