Fall is my favorite time of year, and I try to find a way to get to the “trees” and see their colors changing. It’s also a sweet spot in the music classroom because we’ve got the “back to school” procedures and organization in place and now students are ready to learn. I like to use props and pictures in my lessons, but I don’t always have time to make everything! So here are some fall music class lesson ideas and a new FREE fall music class lesson.
You’ll want to keep on reading to find out about the new FREE resource in the library — “Toss the Leaves” Orff Song and Game with Rhythm Flashcards and Activities.
FALL MUSIC LESSON IDEA #1
Here’s an easy way to work a fall-themed lesson into your beat and rhythm activities.
- Draw a big tree on the board with a lot of empty leaves. If possible use colors that reflect fall.
- If you are able, purchase “fake” leaves from the store and have them ready for the activity.
- Ask students to imitate the sound of leaves falling on the ground. Use body percussion too!
- Write the sounds down on the leaves.
- Have the students say all of the words and sounds.
- Ask them to pretend to be leaves and make the sounds at the same time.
- Be sure to give them a signal when it’s time to stop.
With younger students, you may want to have them experiment with instruments at this time and skip the rhythm activity.
Now put rhythms to the words and sounds.
- Use a beat chart of part of the board to show 2 or 4 beat patterns of “leafy” sounds and words. Fill it in with the sounds and words.
- Tap the sounds and words.
- Have students echo as you play some rhythm patterns.
You may choose to end the lesson here and do the instrument activity during the next music class or continue on.
- Have students create their own rhythm patterns by choosing words and rhythms on the board.
- Give them percussion instruments such as sand blocks, shakers and rhythm sticks (soft sounding).
- Have students practice their rhythms using sounds, words, and instruments.
- Encourage movement if possible to go with the sounds.
- Have student groups perform their rhythm patterns for each other.
More Ideas for This Fall Music Lesson
- After each group shares, try having the class put all of the rhythms together in a Rondo or a complete an arrangement.
- One group can play as the others move.
- One part can be the ostinato as the other parts play.
- Experiment with different instruments.
- Teach each other their parts.
- Incorporate pitched instruments.
I know they will love this type of activity!
FALL MUSIC LESSON IDEA #2
This activity is similar but focuses more on putting sounds on the beat and composing a melody.
TAP THE BEAT
- Draw four leaves on your board and point to the leaves as students pat the beat on their knees.
- Brainstorm fall word ideas and write them on the board.
- Draw rhythms (or ask students to do this) for each of the words.
- Point as you tap the rhythms.
- Have students create 4 beat rhythm patterns using the “key.”
- Ask students to play the beat as you tap the rhythms.
- Ask students to echo play the rhythms.
- Ask students to play the whole phrase rhythmically.
COMPOSE A MELODY
- Draw one or two lines on the board and use the leaf rhythms to compose notes so-mi-la.
- Compose the melody.
- Ask students to show you the notes as you sing the song.
- Divide the class in half.
- Ask group #1 to play the beat and Group #2 to sing.
- Then switch!
I made a little Freebie for you to help with your fall teaching. You’ll want to subscribe and get the FREE FALL LESSON, “Toss the Leaves.”
Here are the basics of what you’ll find in the “Toss the Leaves” resource, or you can use the resources you’ve already got in your classroom to do the activities.
FALL MUSIC LESSON IDEA #3
“Toss the Leaves” Orff Song and Game with Rhythm Flashcards and Activities is the latest Free Resource in the Sing Play Create Resource Library.
I wrote a simple so mi do song with easy Orff parts, a game, and a movement activity. I’ve also included some leaf rhythm flashcards to use with the game. There’s also a bulletin board idea: FALLING INTO MUSIC.
“Toss the Leaves” Song, Game and Activities Concepts
- Eighth Notes
- Quarter Note
- Half Note
- Quarter Rest
- Soprano and Bass Xylophone
- Color Notes for Color Coded Instruments
- Note Names
Toss the leaves all around.
Swirling, whirling, twirling to the ground.
Toss them high, toss them low.
Toss them up and down you go.
- Student stand in a circle.
- Sway arms and hands up and down and around to the ground.
- Bend down to the ground.
- Toss high- jump up
- Toss low- jump down
- Toss up again and then fall to the ground as silent as a fall leaf.
- One leaf is the “magic” leaf. It is blank and can become any rhythm.
- The student with the “magic” leaf is the leaf tosser.
- One student tosses the leaves around as students sing the song.
- The student who finds the “magic” leaf becomes the next leaf tosser.
- The “magic” leaf is blank.
- Students compose rhythms using their leaves. The “magic” leaf can be any rhythm.
- Teacher can choose to use the “magic” 2 beat leaf or the 1 beat leaf.
“Toss the Leaves” Orff Song and Game with Rhythm Flashcards and Activities is the latest Free Resource in the Sing Play Create Resource Library. Subscribe to get the flashcards, game and Orff song for FREE! SUBSCRIBE HERE
Below are links to two other fall-themed music lesson blogs posts I’ve written. Simply click on the links to go to them!
Fall music class lesson ideas are a fun way to incorporate basic music concepts along with improvisation! If you’re interested, you can check out all of my Fall Music Class lessons by clicking on the graphics below.
You can also get the Fall Music Class Bundle, which includes all of the above and more!