It’s finally over! Not the school year, but the first quarter. The first quarter is the hardest one for me. I literally have to drag myself through the first few weeks of school sometimes because it’s so hard to get the music train rolling! This year was more difficult because I had over 180 new students! Plus a different school to travel too- which meant over 200 students who don’t “know” me, or how I run my classes. But now we’re done “shopping” and I’m ready to cook that turkey! Keep reading to get the recipe using these terrific tips for interactive November music class lessons.
TERRIFIC TIP #1 Prep for December Lessons Now
December is a short month.
December is a speedy month.
December is a crazy month.
You most likely have concerts (I do) and don’t want to worry about lessons. So I’ve learned to get those December lessons ready before Veteran’s Day! I know it’s hard to plan ahead when you are just beginning. So try to choose at least one core lesson for each grade level to use during the 2-3 weeks of December.
Here’s the terrific tip! After you choose those core lessons, you can add in some creative movement, instrument playing and games that are easy to adapt to more than one grade level. That way you can focus reinforcing skills and not trying to learn new ones.
Save that for January!
Another terrific tip is to use December lessons as a formative and summative assessment time. If you’ve focused on teaching solfege- then have students creating, practicing and performing those skills in December. If you’ve been focusing on playing so-mi-la or reading notes on the staff- then use those conceptual ideas as the basis for what you’ll do in December.
I’ve just taught my 1st graders “Old Mother Witch”. I didn’t have them playing the song, instead I chose to have them focus on sight singing and solfege skills. December will be a great time for them to play so-mi on xylophones using some of my holiday materials.
Another terrific tip is to have everyone work on songs that can be used in a sing-a-long that last week before we all take off for Winter Break.
Have you seen this free resource?
It includes the lyrics and chords to many familiar holiday songs. You can get it when you subscribe to the free resource library. SUBSCRIBE HERE.
Terrific tip: If you establish your core December music lessons, then next year you can build on them to make your Decembers easier.
TERRIFIC TIP #2 Use Creative Movement In Every Lesson
This terrific tip will give you some breathing time during each class time.
Teach one creative movement activity to each grade level.
Use the same activity throughout the month.
By the end of the month, your students will perform it for you!
You might want to check out:
For more terrific tips on using creative movement in your music lessons, check out this blog post:
TERRIFIC TIP #3 Use Classroom Instruments
I know that when I get out the instruments behavior always improves. I don’t give out instruments to students who can not keep inside their bubble space. So it’s a terrific time to have students work on playing skills.
Terrific tip: If you establish the behavior expectation at the beginning of the year-it will help your classes run smoothly.
TERRIFIC TIP #4 Use Stations for Interactive Learning Opportunities
I wrote a lot about Music Class stations in several articles. You can find the details here:
Here’s a tip I got the hard way:(
Terrific tip: Build your station activities slowly over several years. Use what’s on hand at the beginning. Test out your stations to make sure they work for your students and for you. Then make or purchase resources to support your students learning goals.
November can be a treasure filled learning experience for your students. Second quarter is so much fun with the holidays- a lot of positive energy is swirling around. I hope these terrific tips for interactive November music class lessons will help your classroom run more smoothly and student learning soar!
Please share this post with your teacher friends!