70 Free Ideas for Primary Music Lessons on Zoom [PDF]

Download the entire list of 70 ideas as a PDF!

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At Beginner Orchestra, we recognise that times are tough for orchestral music in our schools! So, we have been looking at ways of supporting the community by using our expert knowledge and on-the-ground experience teaching in International Schools around the world, as well as, some interaction with various online communities, to come up with this list of the 70 best FREE ideas that we have found useful for teaching primary/elementary music on Zoom. 

Always make sure you have selected ‘Share Computer Sound’ when playing music for students via Zoom. The default should be that students have mics on mute and your screen set to gallery mode.

So, here we go! We have included all of the available links in this list below:

1. Play/clap rhythms and have students echo back.

2. Rhythm play-alongs on YouTube.

3. Musication play-alongs on Youtube.

4. Make up Body Percussion routines to songs.

5. Use your chair as a drum.

6. Use your table as a drum.

7. Use pencils and kitchen utensils as rhythms sticks (not chopsticks).

8. Bucket drumming!

9. Do performances for the class using instruments from home.

10. Perform and record on Flipgrid and then watch each others performances as a class.

11. Sing songs together! (with mics on mute)

12. Have a dance party!

13. Research your favourite instruments and present to the class.

14. Practice just keeping a steady beat to a piece of music.

15. Create art as a response to a piece of music.

16. Go on a virtual field trip to Mozart’s house or another destination of your choosing.

17. Use Noteflight to have students do simple compositions tasks.

18. Create homemade instruments and have students play them.

19. Play music games on NYPhilKids.

20. Play the games on musicplayonline.

21. Listen to pieces from BBC Music Planet and explore new cultures.

22. Show students some music books on YouTube.

23. Read a book about music to your students.

24. Practice following dynamics changes using Line Rider videos.

25. Use the Zoom whiteboard to play ‘Hangman’ with music terminology.

26. Use the Zoom whiteboard to play ‘Pictionary/Guess The Instrument’.

27. Complete musictheory.net note quizzes.

28. Listen to pieces of music and answer questions via a self-marking google form.

29. In fact, create self-marking google forms to assess any music activity!

30. Play some music games on Music Tech Teacher.

31. Create a music bingo like this for students to try.

32. Take a walk outside and identify 3 ’musical’ sounds that they can hear and tell the class.

33. Match outside sounds to real instruments.

34. Find 10 outside sounds and classify them as high/low, loud/quiet, fast/slow.

35. Compose chants or rap songs.

36. Try the Compose-it tool!

37. Try the music games on PBS Kids.

38. Find the rhythms that represent the names of your family or friends.

"Teaching primary/elementary music online is easy!" said nobody...ever!

39. Find the rhythm of household items or things in nature.

40. Create rhythms based on various foods!

41. Create your own rhythm patterns, write them and show the class.

42. Find wonderful interactive videos on Nearpod.

43. Invent an instrument, draw it and share it with the class.

44. Create a new school song!

45. Have students practise songs on the virtual Xylophone.

46. Fill 3 glasses with water to make the notes mi-re-do.

47. Jump, bounce a ball or skip to the beat of a song.

48. Create some musical ‘bird flight patterns’ .

49. Play a piece of music and have students freeze when the music stops.

50. Hold an interview of a family member: what is your favourite song and why?

51. Apply for music workshopedu.org login and get student working on their courses.

52. Choose your favourite song and describe it to the class - see if the other students can guess what it is.

"Oh, it's fine, just sing songs with the students"...Ummm, not that easy!

53. Explore the art of dance.

54. Play-along with rhythm dog!

55. Hold an online virtual music festival like this.

56. Have your orchestra students learn their parts and record themselves on Flipgrid or Google Classroom for you to give feedback.

57. Check out the Young Persons Guide To The Orchestra interactive site from Carnegie Hall.

58. Explore the orchestra in a unique way!

59. Explore some of the cultural music on Classroom Connect.

60. https://bongo.cat/ - yes, that’s right!

61. Make some epic beatboxing music on Incredibox!

62. Teach your students some simple conducting techniques and have them take turns conducting simple pieces.

63. Follow along to some Laurie Berkner videos!

64. Bandlab - it’s like a free cross-platform GarageBand!

65. Get your students exploring music tech with musictechteacher.

66. Use the Classics For Kids games and activity sheets to explore Western classical music.

67. Create a bitmoji music classroom for your students to use to access your materials.

68. Invite trusted local musicians to feature in your Zoom lesson (subject to school approval).

69. Play a Kahoot! There are so many pre-made music ones already on the platform.

70. Check out Chrome Music Lab for some super fun games.

We also recommend joining the following Facebook groups for primary and elementary music for more ideas, links and resources:

Download the entire list of 70 ideas as a PDF!

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