It’s time to celebrate school music month! Publicize the learning activities in your music classroom. Real learning is happening here.
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March is School Music Month! Of course, we are celebrating music in our schools all year long. But in March music gets a little more emphasis. This is also a good time to talk about music advocacy.
If you are struggling to develop support for your music program, check out this 3-part series. It includes actionable steps to help increase support from parents, other teachers, administrators, and students themselves.
What’s in this post? Click to open the Table of Contents
- March Holidays and Observances
- It’s Music in Our Schools Month
- National Anthem Day – March 3
- The History of the Star Spangled Banner
- St. Patrick’s Day Activities
- Treble Clef Note Names
- Music Composition
- Celebrate School Music Month Toot Your Own Horn
- Planning Ahead? Need Some More Ideas?
March Holidays and Observances
- March 1 – World Compliment Day/Peanut Butter Lovers Day
- March 2 – Read Across America Day
- March 3 – National Anthem Day
- March 4 – Marching Band Day (March Forth Band Friends!)
- March 8 – International Women’s Day
- March 10 – Ramadan Begins
- March 12 – Girl Scout Day
- March 14 – National Pi Day – 3.14
- March 16 – National Panda Day
- March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day
- March 19 – Spring (Vernal) Equinox
- March 21 – World Poetry Day
- March 28 – Wear a Hat Day
- March 29 – Good Friday
- March 30 – Opening Day of Baseball – Take Me Out to the Ball Game
- March 31 – Easter/National Crayon Day
- Music in Our Schools Month
- Irish American Month
- National Women’s History Month
- National Nutrition Month
- National Craft Month
It’s Music in Our Schools Month
Grab a few rhythm instruments and join F Willis Music in this simple FUN Music In Our Schools Month Chant.
M-U-S-I-C! It’s music in our schools month, with NAfME.
M-U-S-I-C! Won’t ya grab something and jam with me!
National Anthem Day – March 3
The United States Navy recognized “The Star-Spangled Banner” as our national anthem as far back as 1889. However, it was not until March 3, 1931, when President Herbert Hoover signed a law that made it official.
This is why we celebrate National Anthem Day every year on March 3. Depending on the grade level, this might be the day to listen to verse 1 and practice the etiquette around our national anthem or a day to sing all four verses.
National Anthem Etiquette
- Stand and face the flag
- Take off hat
- Put your right hand over your heart
- Sing along if appropriate
Don’t talk or distract from the performance.
The History of the Star Spangled Banner
The short video below shows a simple and succinct history of our national anthem. It was created by Teen Kids News and filmed on the grounds of Fort McHenry. (6:12)
There are many different storybooks that depict the history of The Star-Spangled Banner. This picture book by Peter Spier is perfect for the upper elementary music classroom. It makes teaching the history of our national anthem easy for teachers and memorable for students.
Check with your school and public libraries to see what books they have available.
St. Patrick’s Day Activities
Irish Folk Song
March is a great time to teach Irish folk songs. Many Irish songs are in a meter of 6/8 and some can have complicated rhythm patterns. The simple patterns in “There’s a Big Ship Sailing” make it a perfect song to introduce and practice reading 6/8 meter.
This version includes differentiated Orff accompaniments for grades 2-5. The simple rhythm patterns make for successful music reading lessons, even for first-time readers of 6/8 meter.
For teachers who need guidance teaching 6/8 meter Kodály, Gordon, and Takadimi rhythm syllable charts are included.
Click to preview this no-prep, ready-to-use resource.
Interactive rhythm flashcards with a St. Patrick’s Day theme are fun to use during the whole month. If you need ideas for fun and engaging ways to use rhythm flashcards, check out this helpful post – 10 Ways to Use Interactive Flashcards.
These St. Patrick’s themed rhythm cards include 8 sequential sets of leveled digital flashcards. My favorite is the iconic rhythm patterns for your youngest musicians. But, your more accomplished musicians will be challenged by 16th-note patterns, syncopation, and dotted rhythms.
Consider adding lyrics to a few of the patterns and creating an Orff-style speech piece to celebrate school music month.
Free St. Patrick’s Day Rhythm Clip Cards
With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, we’ve got a fun and festive music activity that your students will love. Our FREE St. Patrick’s Day Rhythm Pattern Identification Clip Cards are a great way to incorporate the holiday into your music lessons while also reinforcing rhythm concepts. Plus, it’s a super easy and low-prep activity that you can use with students of all skill levels.
We know how busy the school year can get, so we wanted to make it easy for you to bring a little St. Patrick’s Day cheer into your music classroom. Just click the link to download the free activity and get started today!
Not sure how to use clip cards? Click to see ideas and tips to use these rhythm activities for elementary music in your elementary music classroom.
Just for Fun – Free Printable Worksheet or Digital Puzzle
Do you need something simple and quick to acknowledge St. Patrick’s Day? This FREE Irish Word Search introduces traditional Irish musical instruments and styles. Just download, print, and go.
Or, use the DIGITAL VERSION. This puzzle is ready to assign by using a link sent through Google Classroom or your school’s LMS. It may be completed online using Easel. – TpT’s Digital Tool.
Both the puzzle and Easel Activities are FREE to use.
Treble Clef Note Names
At this time of year, many elementary music teachers are preparing to begin recorder units. Often, a review of treble clef note names is necessary to ensure a good start. If you need some fresh treble clef note name activities check out the activities below.
Treble Clef Note Names Boom Cards
Boom online task cards are a FUN and EFFECTIVE way to practice and review. Boom Cards give students get immediate feedback and can also be used as assessments. Use Boom Cards for centers or stations, whole-class practice using simple manipulatives, or 1:1 devices.
If you have never used Boom Cards before, getting started may seem a little daunting. I promise you, it is NOT hard but there are some tips to help you get a seamless start. To see a set of Boom Cards in action or learn more ways to use them in your classroom, click on the links below.
Boom Learning allows you to to play a preview of the first four cards of each set of Treble Clef Boom Cards. (Scroll down to see each deck.)
Boom Cards are available to purchase directly on Boom Learning or through TpT. Click here to view these Treble Clef sets on TpT. Scroll down to see the decks that will work best for your students.
Treble Clef Note Names PowerPoint Interactive Games
If you do not have online access, or simply want a different way to practice, these PowerPoint interactive games also give students immediate feedback and once downloaded, do not require an internet connection. Download this FREE set today to sample the game with your students.
Click the images below to preview each set.
*NOTE: You must have PowerPoint to use these interactive presentations. Google Slides does NOT yet have the same level of interactivity.
As we approach the fourth quarter of the year, I begin to think in terms of culminating projects. These are projects that pull together elements learned throughout the school year. Music composition is one of those projects.
Music composition can be tricky for young children. You can greatly increase student success by using templates such as these “drag and drop” composition resources. The drag-and-drop feature also makes the project more fun. “Erasing” and modifying their work becomes easy for students!
Each set includes 4-DAY EXPANDABLE LESSONS where students create four different compositions focusing on different elements of music.
- Composition 1 – Note values and meter
- Composition 2 – Form
- Composition 3 – Matching lyrics to rhythms
- Composition 4 – Final project pulling all elements together
These activities are available in either Google Slides or PowerPoint versions. Click each resource to preview.
Need to differentiate activities for multiple grade levels or within classes? Save with the Google Slides Composition Bundle which includes all 4 sets.
Need ready-to-assign PowerPoint versions? Click here to see the PowerPoint Composition Bundle.
Printable Composition Blocks
Using printable, worksheet-style activities does not mean boring – far from it! This building block format with manipulative music note blocks makes music composition simple and fun.
The blocks are perfectly sized to fit the templates. Students select the notes they want to use and arrange them as they choose. When they are satisfied with their composition, they may glue it down. Or, use the blocks as reusable manipulatives.
Four different templates with nine differentiated sets of rhythms make these composition activities perfect for grades K-5. Download this FREE Color, Cut, Compose Primer and try it out with your early elementary students.
See How to Use Music Composition Templates for more tips and activities.
Celebrate School Music Month Toot Your Own Horn
There are many different ways to celebrate and acknowledge school music month. No matter how you choose to celebrate, take a little time to publicize the learning activities that are happening in your elementary music classroom.
Real learning is happening here.
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Meet the Author
Terri Lloyd is a former elementary music teacher with over 25 years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Music, a Master of Science in Education, and a Technology Certificate in Instructional Design.
She is currently active in music education through blogging, workshops, and curriculum development. She serves on the music staff at her church and volunteers for an after-school children’s program. Terri is an active musician in the community, performing in a local Big Band, pit orchestras, and various events.