Favorite Elementary Music Lessons | September

Whether you are just starting your school year, or already have been in session for several weeks, the lessons you teach this month can set the tone for the entire year. This post includes some of my favorite elementary music lessons for September. 

If you like to do thematic units or observe national dates, you will find plenty of inspiration in the September holidays listed below. 

I hope you find time to teach some seasonal lessons as well as establish a solid routine for developing music literacy skills.

Elementary Music Class Activities for Classroom or Distance Learning | September Favorites

September Holidays & Observvances

  • September 4 – Newspaper Carrier Day
  • September 5 – National Cheese Pizza Day
  • September 5 – National Hummingbird Day
  • September 5 – National Play Outside Day
  • September 7 – Labor Day
  • September 9 – National Teddy Bear Day
  • September 11 – 9/11 Remembrance
  • September 13 – National Grandparents’ Day
  • September 13 – Uncle Sam Day
  • September 15 – National On-Line Learning Day**
  • September 16 – Mayflower Day
  • September 16 – National Collect Rocks Day
  • September 16 – Play-Doh Day
  • September 17 – Citizenship Day 
  • September 17 – Constitution Day
  • September 17 – International Country Music Day 
  • September 18 – National Respect Day
  • September 19 – Boys and Girls Club Day for Kids
  • September 19 – International Day of Listening
  • September 19 – National Clean Up Day
  • September 19 – National Dance Day
  • September 19 – Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • September 21 – International Day of Peace/World Gratitude Day
  • September 22 – Autumnal Equinox, First Day of Fall
  • September 23 – International Day of Sign Languages
  • September 24 – National Bluebird of Happiness Day
  • September 25 – Native American Day
  • September 26 – Johnny Appleseed Day
  • September 26 – National Pancake Day
  • September 26 – R.E.A.D. in America Day
  • September 28 – National Good Neighbor Day 
  • September 30 – National Hot Cider Day 

Weekly Observances

  • National Nutrition Week – September 1-7
  • Popcorn Days – September 10-12, 2020 
  • Constitution Week – September  17-23
  • Rosh Hashanah – Evening of September 18, 2020
  • Line Dance Week – September 14-19
  • Oktoberfest – September 19 – October 4
  • Clean Up the World Weekend – September 18-20
  • National Keep Kids Creative Week – September 27 – October 3, 2020
  • National Dog Week – September 27 – October 3, 2020
  • Yom Kippur – Evening of September 27 – Evening of September 28, 2020

Monthly Observances

  • Apple Month
  • Good Manners Month
  • Latino Heritage Month (Tue, Sep 15, 2020 – Thu, Oct 15, 2020)
  • National Piano Month

Hop Old Squirrel

Hop Old Squirrel is one of my all-time FAVORITE songs and games for the elementary music classroom. This lesson includes iconic and standard notation as well as a rhythmic Orff ostinato. It also includes solfege hand signs and recorder notation. So, this simple song with differentiated activities can span several grade levels.

Oktoberfest starts in September

Oktoberfest celebrations traditionally start in September and last into October. While Oktoberfest originally began in Germany, today many countries all around the world celebrate German culture and traditions during this festive occasion.

Oktoberfest Music Activities for Early Elementary Grades
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Oktoberfest activities include “wiener dog” or dachshund races, dachshund costume contests, traditional polka bands and dancing, traditional German foods, costumes of lederhosen and drindl dresses, and much more. Not only has teaching about Oktoberfest been one of my favorite elementary music lessons, it has also been one of our favorite performances for the year. My elementary students have performed at our community’s celebration for many years.

Oktoberfest Music Activities for Upper Elementary Grades
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If you would like to learn about the traditions and Oktoberfest activities and join in the fun, check out the lessons below. Don’t worry if you don’t speak any German, two screencasts are included to teach German counting to 10 and the pronunciation for a traditional German song.

Halloween | NON-Halloween Lessons

Halloween is right around the corner too! And, you don’t have to give up your music reading lessons just to work in some engaging Halloween activities. Pass the Pumpkin includes a full Orff arrangement with differentiated activities for grades K-5. Your kids will LOVE this song and the activities that go with it.

Pass the Pumpkin Halloween Song with Orff Activities
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Some students and even some schools do not celebrate Halloween. So, I changed up the lyrics but kept the same AWESOME activities and turned it into a fall lesson. Pass the Pumpkin Pie can be used all season long and it is sure to be a hit with all your students. (Please note this is not a Thanksgiving activity, so your students that do not celebrate any holidays should be ok just singing about eating pumpkin pie.)

Pass the Pumpkin Fall Song with Orff Activities
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Absolutely yes! These also go on my list of favorite elementary music lessons. My students wanted to sing these songs all year long.

Click the images to preview the lessons and listen to the arrangement in the video previews.

Sequential Music Literacy Lessons

Yes, music reading lessons can, and should be among your favorite elementary music lessons as well. And more importantly, music reading lessons should be among your students’ favorite lessons. Make time to teach music reading everyday. It takes careful planning and lessons that build one upon another, introducing only one new element at a time. Having those lessons ready to go at the beginning of the year, makes them every teachers’ favorite lessons.

Do you need ready-to-go music reading lessons that can also serve as assessments? These FUN sequential sets might be just what you need.

Enjoy the Fall

Fall is my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, the changing colors, and all the fall celebrations in our area. I hope you find some time to enjoy your fall season. And I hope that some of my old favorites become some of your new favorite elementary music lessons.

Auf Wiedersehen!


Do you need help with something specific for your classroom? Send me a quick email and I will see if I can help. 

Best wishes!

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