Music Activities for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education

Teach some important skills related to music in your elementary classrooms with this lesson. Students will get hands-on and busy with these activities that connect to core concepts you need to teach.

Teaching Music in to Elementary School Students

For the most part, students look forward to their specials classes, like art, gym and music. These classes give them a chance to be naturally active and creative and explore the world in a new and fun way. As music teachers, we know we need to weave content into instruction, ideas that will both teach standards and allow students to have remain engaged and excited about music.

Sound Check


  • Whole group


  • 20 small cups
  • Masking tape
  • Small items, such as paper clips and marker lids, (two of each for a total of 10) to place in cups


  • Place each item in a cup and place a second cup into the first, covering the item.
  • Secure the first cup to the second using masking tape, then flip over so the bottom is facing up. Label each cup with a number.
  • Line cups up in chronological order on a table top.
  • Invite students to come shake the cups to find the two that make the same sound.
  • Incorporate concepts of tone and pitch into this lesson, asking students to describe the sound cups make and how they recognized the matches. For example, a student may say 'Both cups made a high-pitched clinking sound.'

Extensions and Adaptations

  • Break students into small groups and have each group make a cup set, then set up on a table top. Circulate students around the room to find matches.

Orchestra Bingo


  • Whole group


  • Blank bingo cards
  • Bingo covers
  • Orchestra instrument images


  • After teaching students about instruments in an orchestra, reinforce concepts with this fun bingo game.
  • Share images of each instrument and write the names for each on the board.
  • Have students write these names in a blank bingo square, one in each, in random order.
  • To play, show an image, one at a time, and have students identify the name of the instrument and cover.
  • Check students who get bingo by having them read back the instruments.

Extensions and Adaptations

  • Do this activity with sound instead of visual clues by playing a clip of the instrument and having students cover the match.

Tic-Tac-Toe Rock


  • Partner pairs


  • Yarn
  • Index cards with differing four-beat rhythms recorded on them; a set of nine for each partner pair
  • Blank index cards
  • Markers

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