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Making Music

Language & Literacy


Songs, Poems, & Fingerplays:

I play my drum

with a tap, tap tap.

I play my flute

with a toot, toot, toot

I play my violin

with a zin, zin, zin

I play my guitar 

like a Rock-n-Roll star!

(Act out playing the instruments as you say this poem, at the end invite everyone to jam on their "air guitar"!)

Literacy : Invite the children to make up other sounds that rhyme with different types of instruments to add to the poem.



Talk about the music you here at a parade.  How does it sound, what instruments do you hear?  Play some marching band music. Have the children listen to see if they can pick out the different instrument sounds.  Play some instruments behind your back and see if they can name the instrument.

Literacy:Print the names of the instruments on chart paper. Talk about the letters each one starts with. How many start with "P"? What does "P" sound like. etc.


Have the children practice clapping the syllables in each child's name.  

Literacy:Show a name tag or other form of print of the names as you clap them together. Ask them how many clap each name is as you clap them to encourage them to hear the different syllables. 


Read: Zin Zin Zin a Violn


As you read have the children count the instruments with you. If possible find pictures of each instrument and laminate them and add a piece of Velcro to the back of them to make a felt board set to go with the story. As you read the story reinforce the names of the instruments and place them on the felt board.

Math & Number Concepts

Set out GEO boards for the kids to create shapes on using rubber bands. Invite them to strum their geo board when they finish to see what it sounds like.

Note Numbers- Make a set of musical note number cards. Find a die-cut or make your own, program them with numbers and invite the children to place the notes on a staff (draw lines on a piece of tag board) in numerical order. 

Music Matters- Print a copy of our Music Matters Math game to help children with their number recognition and one-to-one correspondence! Visit the Teacher's Desk and print a copy from our games & activites section now!


Home Made Instruments: Have the kids pick what kind of instrument they would like to play in a Marching Band. DO a pretend parade, and have each child play his or her pretend instrument. *Allow children to create one of a kind instruments in the are area using a variety of materials such as Kleenex boxes, toilet tubes, rubber bands, etc.

Fire Works Paintings:
Supplies: Large white paper, red, white, and blue, paint, straws.
Directions:  Drop blobs of each color of paint on the paper, give child a straw (with slits cut in the end) and have them blow the paint to make a splattered fireworks design! 

*Play some orchestra music in the background while they paint, typical of what you might hear at a fireworks display.

Tambourines & Shakers:
Supplies:  Hard paper plates, ribbon, small jingle bells.
Directions:  Place two plates together  insides facing each other.  Punch holes all the way around the edge of the two paper plates.  Tie them together with ribbon and add a jingle bell on every other one or two ties. *You can do the same thing to make shakers only fill the inside of the two plates with beans.

Classical Music Painting: Play a variety of classical music for the children to paint to at the easel or at a table. Encourage them to paint how the music sounds. We have even used q-tips for the children to paint with while listening to classical music for an interesting effect to the painting.

Literacy:Have the children dictate to you how their painting makes them feel or what they like about it. Attach it to the painting and display it on a bulletin board.


Dramatic Play

Music Makers: Provide real, pretend and child sized musical instruments for the children to use in making their own marching bands. Include fun dress up clothes that might resemble marching uniforms. Batons and flags would be fun for kids to use too.

Music & Movement

The Ant's Go Marching One by One: Act out and sing this classical children's song with the kids as you march around the room.

Classical Dance: Give the children ribbon sticks to dance with. Play a variety of classical music and ask the children to dance to the music. A head of time discuss the feeling of each piece and how they might interpret it through dance.


Science & Discovery

Sound Discoveries: Do some activities with sound and talk about how sound is made up of "waves". Fill glasses with water and rub a wet finger around the rims. Put different amounts of water in the glasses to create different pitches (works best with wine glasses). Fill pop bottles with different amounts of water and blow lightly into them to make different pitches. Ask the chldren to predict which bottles they think will have higher and lower pitches and way.

Make Some Noise: Let kids experiment making different sounds with small children's harmonicas or other party favor type types.


Blocks & Building

Place a picture of a concert hall in your block area, invite the children to build one with blocks.


Puzzles, Games & Manipulatives









Drum Sticks & Bugles: Pretzels with marshmallow on the ends and Bugles snacks


Bulletin Boards

Display the Children's Classical Music paintings on a bulletin board. Attach a black musical note pattern to each one identifying the artists name (Hint: write names with a silver Sharpie pen).

Other Resources






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