Starting a new school year with positive, engaging activities sets the tone for the entire year. Music Mixer Activities get students singing, moving, and interacting positively with each other on day 1. Establish a positive classroom climate with simple music classroom rules set to rhythm patterns, a fun music mixer activity, and your school song. Week 1 lesson plans are done!
P.S. If you don’t have an engaging, fun school song that your school can take pride in, write one. That will be a topic for a future post.
What Are Music Mixer Activities?
Music mixer activities can take a variety of forms. I like to design activities so students are singing, moving, and interacting with each other. You can turn almost any song into a music mixer activity. A simple welcoming song is perfect for Back to School season. They also work well after fall, winter, or spring breaks.
Hand clap patterns and chants are great elements to add to music mixers. Some type of rotation is important so students “mix it up” and partner with several different students.
Music Mixer Formation
I like to structure activities so that students are interacting with several other students. I use basically two different formations – concentric circles or scatter position.
Your classroom space will dictate your formation to some degree. Are you teaching music from a cart? Then make two concentric rectangles around the outside of the desks. Or, modify the formation so it works in each specific classroom.
Circle Formation – When using circle formation it is helpful to use some sort of markers such as sit spots, tape on the floor, a classroom carpet, chairs, etc. If young students have trouble maintaining spacing and lining up with partners, have the inside circle remain stationary and only allow the outside circle to move.
Scatter Formation – When using scatter formation it is often hard for students to partner up in groups of two. I always allow students to partner up in groups of two or three. If they are already in a group of three and one more person comes to their group, students should simply turn and create two groups of two without saying a word. Practice this prior to beginning the game. I always hang back and slip in if a student can’t find a partner.
Tips for Designing a Successful Music Mixer
- Repeat the activity at least 5 – 7 times without stopping so that students have a chance to really mix it up!
- If using scatter formation, require students to partner up with a different person every round. Sometimes, students want to follow each other and partner up with the same person each round.
- Design your lesson so that you can extend it over several days. Teach the basic song with movement and hand clap on day 1. Then consider adding a chant on day 2. Guide students to create an original chant on day 3.
If you don’t have time to create your own music mixer activities take a look at one of these and Mix it Up!
- Back to School Music Mixer | Song & Movement Activities, Primary Grades
- Back to School Music Mixer | Song & Movement Activities for Intermediate Grades
Start the new year right. Have fun, make friends, and make some music!