Teaching music is rewarding, no matter how old your students are. But there is something unique about teaching the gift of music to children. Whether they’re playing instruments or singing, effective music teaching strategies can change their lives forever. Here are our 12 tips for teaching music to kids in a way that is effective, fun, and creative.
6 Tips For Creating The Best Music Lessons For Kids
When you’re teaching music lessons for kids, it’s good to remember the big picture. Here are some best practices regarding how to teach music, whether online or in person.
1. Keep it short and sweet
Children are notorious for having short attention spans. Each lesson should be an appropriate length based on age range. Most young children can probably only handle anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes.
Try to keep their attention during this time by using multiple activities that demonstrate the lesson you’re teaching, pivoting to new experiences when their attention wanders.
2. Rely on themes
Themes are a great way to get your students excited about class. Plus, they make it easier for you to build a lesson plan!
You can focus on holidays, such as Halloween or Christmas, as well as seasons. Do your students love certain movies or television shows? Set up a class dedicated to the music of it!
3. Use music your students enjoy
While classical music may be the foundation of music education, it’s unfamiliar territory for many of your students. Give them a chance to learn music they can relate to.
Whether it’s the latest Disney song or a family-friendly radio hit, they’ll enjoy learning music they already know.
4. Encourage interaction
Group activities are a great way to encourage positive interaction and teamwork.
While music can be performed on an individual basis, the vast majority is performed by groups, whether it’s an orchestra or a band. Teach your students how to collaborate by assigning group activities.
5. Introduce friendly competition
Kids love to play games, especially when prizes are involved.
Encourage your students to learn the basics of music theory through games. Divide the class in half and see which team really knows their stuff.
6. Always stay positive
Teaching music to kids should be fun and lighthearted. Don’t get too caught up in strict or rigid lesson plans. Let your positive attitude shine through.
The best way to get students excited about music is by showing them your own excitement!
6 Ways To Develop Online Music Activities For Kids
As more studios provide online opportunities, you may be wondering how to teach music remotely. If you have an in-person studio, the following ideas can also be used as “homework” or assignments to encourage your students to practice when they’re not in class.
1. Use apps for music lessons and practice
There are so many apps that make the process of teaching music to kids fun and interesting. From ear trainers to virtual music note flashcards, your students will enjoy the blend of technology and music education.
Browse our list of the best music apps for teachers to get started. Furthermore, Studio Director users receive exclusive access to Mobile Inventor, our selected partner for custom studio management application development. For studios that want their students to have easy, streamlined studio access in the palm of their hand, Mobile Inventor is the answer!
2. Host a concert viewing party
Observation is a large part of learning. Host a viewing party that features many different types of music.
From classical orchestras to jazz bands, play a variety of different performances. Ask your students to take note of anything that stands out to them and host a discussion afterwards.
3. Let your students be composers
There are so many wonderful resources for online composing that can help kids think creatively.
Ask them to explore different pitches and beats to create their own masterpiece. This is an assignment they will be proud to show off to family and friends. You can also combine with some of the music apps (discussed above) that make composition easy.
4. Introduce the power of performance
Learning how to perform is an important aspect of playing music. Before they get on stage in front of a crowd, host a virtual recital.
Performing in a virtual setting can be much less nerve wracking, which gives your students a chance to build confidence and hone their skills.
5. Merge music with other art forms
Ask your students to grab a white sheet of paper and a simple watercolor set or even markers. Play music and give them a few minutes to create whatever comes to mind.
This activity provides students a chance to explore their understanding for and appreciation of music while linking to another art form.
6. Dive into music history using podcasts
For older students, you can find podcasts on nearly every subject, including music.
Check out David Walliams’ Marvellous Music Podcast on Classic FM. Your students will learn about some of the most famous musicians in history, from Ludwig ‘Grumpy’ van Beethoven to 19th-century rock star Franz Liszt.
How To Teach Music To Babies And Toddlers
Music class is a wonderful way to get babies and toddlers moving and socializing. These lesson plans will generally be much more simple and always include a parent or caregiver for each child.
Use traditional nursery rhymes and interactive music that features sounds. Purchase or make small instruments to encourage a full sensory experience. Puppets, bubbles, and other props will help keep babies and toddlers engaged from start to finish.
Effective Music Teaching Strategies For Older Kids
Do you teach older kids, such as middle school or high school students? We all know this can be a tough audience to encourage. In many cases, their parents are making them study music. With this in mind, the best strategy for reaching these kids is meeting them where they are in their musical journey.
Strike a balance between what they should be learning and what they want to be learning. If they’re playing music they enjoy or even writing their own, they are more likely to dive in and practice.
Challenge them to set short-term goals. Perhaps they want to audition for a school musical or make extra cash playing music at holiday parties. Encourage them to think big and keep practicing to get there.
Find More Time To Develop Music Activities For Kids
Your music studio is a reflection of who you are as a musician and a teacher. You need plenty of time to develop creative activities that will keep your students engaged. Don’t let administrative tasks distract from your passion for teaching.
At Studio Director, we serve as your silent business partner. Our unique music studio software can help you automate registration, billing, and much more.