Category Archives: General

American Folk Song Database

Have you ever wanted to use a common folk song but you didn’t remember all of the words? I know that’s happened to me. You can go to and search, listen, print, and see analysis for common folk songs.

A searchable database of Kodaly songs to teach!!  And it's free?


Say, Say O Playmante

Look at this great clapping game! It’s from a blog that I’ve mentioned before on our site:

The directions are found online at her blog!

A fun hand clapping game: Say, Say O Playmate

Sample Scope and Sequence for 1-5 Music

Here is a link to a wonderful website that has a scope and sequence for grades 1-5 general music. I checked it out and it’s great! While it’s not aligned with our NGSSS, it’s a great place to start and gives you a general idea of what your students should be able to do at these grade levels.  Enjoy!

Complete Scope and Sequence for Grades 1-5 elementary music

Music Writing Prompts

Does your school require you to have your students write in all of their classes? If so, you might want to check out this book:

The book has many writing prompts for musical topics!

Do you have other ways you incorporate writing into your music classrooms?


Helping Students Find their Singing Voice

I came across a great idea while attending a workshop with John Feierabend. He was talking about how he uses a slide whistle to help his students find their head voice.  I have had a few children in the past that couldn’t seem to find that head voice no matter what I did. Then I brought out the slide whistle. After 2 weeks of practice, every student was using that voice.

Here’s what I did (second grade):

  • I played the slide whistle in a couple of different ways for the students.
  • I asked the students if they could make their voices sound like the slide whistle.
  • Many students would whistle instead of do a vocal siren. When they did that, I told them to match what I was doing with their voice instead of with their lips and air. Worked like a charm.
  • After that, many students were asking to play the slide whistle. I didn’t want to let them do that (for obvious reasons) so instead I allowed them to pull the handle as I blew (gently, of course).
  • The students had a great time and a few asked their parents to buy them slide whistles!

This is the one I purchased:

American Slide Whistle

Have you used a slide whistle to get your students to explore head voice? Do you have any other tricks for getting students to sing up there? Please share in the comments! I know we’re always looking for more tricks! 

Fun Friday: Voices!

Look at this adorable chart that helps students vary their voices!

Great way to get kids excited about varying voice


I think this would be great for when students are working with poetry and story books. This can be translated into singing and head voice exploration too.  Students who play with their speaking voices might be more inclined to pop up and explore their head voice, especially the “royal highness.” 

Clever Bulletin Board Idea

I don’t know about you but I am one of the few Elementary Music Teachers who is missing the creative bulletin board gene. That’s why I love seeing examples from other people.

Here is a cute idea from:–classroom-bulletin-board/.

Each individual is like a note. Together, we create a Masterpiece.

Do you have any cute ideas for bulletin boards? If so, please send me a picture, I’d love to share it!