Posted in Lesson Plan Ideas, Teaching

In the Hall of the Mountain King

My entire purpose of blogging has been to share the many adventures I get myself into. These adventures are varied – I make lots of food, I’m trying to cultivate my green thumb, I like to travel, to take photos, to play instruments, to sing, to dance, to read, draw, and paint. The list goes on and on.To date, I’ve only really written about my adventures in the kitchen. I thought I needed to share some of the other things I work so hard at. I’m a music teacher by day, and here is one of my adventures in the classroom.

I was lucky enough to take in a wonderful elementary music professional development session last year that changed my outlook on teaching elementary music. Last year was my first year teaching elementary music, so it wasn’t hard for me to be swayed to try it a different way. We learned about teaching music through student-led inquiry, movement and story-telling. If you’ve never seen a music teachers PD session, to say we learned how to do this doesn’t tell the half of it. We actually sing and dance and discover the lessons we’re learning to teach. It was a room full of adults dressed up in silly costumes, prancing around with pretend horses, and crawling around like trolls together.

As soon as I left this session, and I mean quite literally as soon as I left, I set to changing my music program. I coloured a lot of pictures, cut, glued and laminated, created music maps and bulletin boards. When my students came in to the classroom the first day I’d put these new things up was a special day. They were all SO excited. We looked at the pictures I’d created and talked about what characters might live in the scene, what kind of music we might hear. We read a story about the characters. We listened to the music. Every single student was engaged. Every. Single. One.

In the Hall of the Mountain King

Published Resources

Teacher Resource: Fun with Composers

Handmade Resources

Manipulatives to help students discover song form, phrases and music symbols
Popsicles to help understand and write rhythm, hearts to indicate beat. Trolls to help understand phrases and to spark a students imagination.

Web Resources

A great YouTube video for this unit. Lots of close-ups of different orchestral instruments and a high-quality performance.

Websites that were useful to planning this unit:

Classics for Kids

Making Music Fun

PBS Educational Resources

Listening Fun

Lesson Plans Page

Take Note Music

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