• Taylor Shaeffer

Elementary Music Online Lesson Ideas

After making online lesson plans for a few weeks you may feel like you are running out of fresh ideas. Below I have outlined what my lessons look like and give ideas that you can adapt to your online lessons. You may have seen some of these ideas before but hopefully there are some new ones that you can use for your instruction.


Lesson Planning

Since our district has implemented 1-to-1 Chromebooks, I generally only have online lessons. Additionally our district has work out a deal with our local internet providers so they will give free internet to students that need it for school. We do have packets that go home as well but those are few and far between. Below is an example of an online lesson for the week. (I have taken out a few mp3 recordings due to copyright).




I use Google Slides because it is easily shareable to parents across the district. You can embed music or YouTube videos or make videos yourself and embed them into the video. I try to have at least one video of myself instructing students per lesson so they can see my face. For many students, this is their favorite part of the lesson! Now that you know how I generally format my lessons, here are a few additional activities you can add to your lessons:


Reading Books!

Record and read music books to your students. Some students aren't read bedtimes stories so I find that this is very important to student's literacy!




Reading Rhythms Via Screen Capturing

Put rhythm flashcards on your computer and capture your screen via a screen capturing software such as ScreeenCast. I can instruct and read rhythms with students which allows them to practice rhythms at home. Many parents don't know how to read music so this helps guide students so they are successful.


Vocal Roller Coasters

Have students draw their own Vocal Roller Coasters and practice their high and low singing. Make a practice video that helps them understand the concept so they can be as creative as they want!



Drawing Music

Share a piece of music (Carnival of the Animals, Fur Elise, O Fortuna) and have them draw a picture of what they think would be happening if this were a soundtrack to a movie. Have them use there imaginations and then explain why they drew what they drew. This helps younger students make an emotional connection to the music.


Making Notes out of Household Items

During class I would pass out a bunch of popsicle sticks and students would make notes with them. Since they are at home I challenged them to make notes out of different material. I received items such as Q-tips, spoons, towels, quarters, and pens. It was neat seeing what they came up with!



Music Making with Water

I made an instructional video in order to show students how they can make instruments out of water and drinking glasses. We talked about how water changed the pitch of the glass and how they can make the sound go higher or lower. Student then get to experiment at home and make their own music!



Music Symbol Pictures

One way to get your students to practice drawing their notes and to help them think creatively is making pictures out of music symbols. Students love the creative outlet and all you need is a pencil and paper! Below is an example of a train:




Remember the goal of online learning is to try and inspire students to engage in the music making process at home. When picking songs for your lessons, try to find songs that parents know. Challenge students to get their parents involved in the music making process so the whole family can sing along! I love when parents share videos of the entire family working together and creating music!


Need more ideas for your online music lesson? Here are some Fun Music Videos for Online Learning!

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