Music Word Walls

Instructor: Leah Salyer
Word walls are used in a variety of subject areas, including music. Read on to learn how to create and implement a music word wall in your classroom. You'll also find additional information on resources you can use to create these types of word walls.

Word Walls in the Music Classroom

Word walls are a fantastic addition to many classrooms, giving students and teachers constant access to the vocabulary that is being developed throughout the school year. Word walls can also be beneficial and fun in the music classroom where students will be developing a whole new kind of vocabulary. There are many ways in which word walls can be implemented into the music classroom to provide engaging learning.

How to Organize a Music Classroom Word Wall

There are a variety of ways in which a teacher can organize a word wall. In a music classroom, if a word wall is not well organized, it may become confusing to students. The greatest challenge is designing a word wall that will be beneficial and easy to understand for students of varying ages since music teachers are typically seeing students in different grade levels. One suggestion is to organize the words according to concepts. For example, words indicating rhythm should be classified together just as words indicating tempo should be classified together.

Using Music Word Walls

  • Word of the Week: Teachers can introduce a new word each week, which is especially beneficial for younger students. Make sure the word is posted on the word wall and have students write it in their Word of the Week journals. Discuss what the word means and show how it is related to music.
  • Around the World: Have students sit in a circle and choose one student to stand up to start off the game. This student will stand behind a sitting student. The teacher will then call out a definition of one of the words from the word wall. Whoever gets the word correct first will continue to move around the circle. If the student who is standing is beaten by the one who is sitting, the students will switch places. The winner of the game is the first student who can go all the way around the circle back to his or her original spot.
  • Face Off: The class is divided into two teams. A representative from each team will stand in front of the whiteboard. The teacher will call out a definition, and the students will write the corresponding word on the board. Whichever student gets the word written first and correctly will score a point for his or her team. The team that has the most points at the end of the game wins!
  • Tic-Tac-Toe: Separate the classroom into two teams. The students will either be part of the X team or the O team. A tic-tac-toe board will be drawn on the whiteboard with words from the word wall to fill in the spaces. A member of each team will take turns going up to the board, picking a space and defining the word. If the word is defined correctly, the student may put his or her team's corresponding X or O down. Whichever team gets 3 in a row first wins!

Additional Resources provides a number of lesson plans that can help you with ideas for various musical concepts, instruments and genres to use for word walls and to teach your students. These lesson plans include:

Teaching vocabulary to students is the entire reason for a word wall. Consider looking into this lesson on Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary to find additional ideas that will assist your students in remembering key vocabulary terms.

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