Vocal Music Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Vocal music focuses on the unique sounds of the human voice. This lesson plan explores the types of vocal music using a fact-filled text lesson. An activity compares and contrasts different types of vocal music.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'vocal music'
  • describe the characteristics of vocal music
  • distinguish between Western and non-Western vocal music


45 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.



  • Go around the room and ask students to share the title of their favorite song with the class.
    • How many of these songs include vocals?
    • For those that include instruments and vocals, which one do you think is more influential and why?
  • Hand out the paper copies of the text lesson, one for each student.
  • Tell the class to read the introduction and 'What is Vocal Music?' section of the text lesson.
    • What makes vocal music different from instrumental music?
  • Have the students read the remainder of the text lesson.
    • What are the hallmarks of Western vocal music?
    • How is non-Western vocal music different?
    • What makes vocal music of all types so powerful?
  • Distribute the worksheet to the students.
  • Work as a class to complete the worksheet, connecting each question back to the content of the text lesson as appropriate.

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