Australian Music Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Through an exploration of aboriginal Australian music and musical instruments, this lesson plan will help your students learn about Australian culture, music, and issues surrounding the treatment of indigenous peoples following European settlement.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define vocabulary related to Australian music
  • explain the meaning of 'indigenous peoples' and recognize some issues regarding their plight after European settlement
  • identify aboriginal Australian instruments by sound and on sight
  • name several aboriginal Australian musicians
  • discuss the role of music in activism


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.4

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.c

Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

Materials Needed

  • Projector or SMART Board
  • Pictures of a boomerang, koala and eucalyptus leaf
  • Map of the world (or a globe)
  • Down Under by Men at Work (recording to play in class)
  • Computer with audio capabilities
  • Internet access
  • Pictures of clapsticks, bull-roarer and a eucalyptus leaf (being played as a gum-leaf instrument)
  • Videos of musicians playing clapsticks, bull-roarer, gum-leaf, and didgeridoo
  • Copies of the lyrics to the song 'Treaty' by Yothu Yindi (1 per student or displayed using projector)
  • Music video for the song, 'Treaty' by Yothu Yindi


  • Bull-roarer
  • Clapsticks
  • Didgeridoo
  • Gum-leaf
  • Indigenous
  • Djatpangarri

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