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!