Engage your students with elementary music lessons and activities that will become fall favorites for teachers and students.
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Fall is my favorite season. The days are cooler and the evenings are crisp. Everything at school is still new and fresh. The lessons you teach this month set the tone for the entire year. Nurture your students’ initial excitement and keep them engaged in fun music activities.
Take a peek at the September holidays and observances below to see if they spark any ideas for your elementary music lesson plans.
What’s in this post? Click to open the Table of Contents
September Holidays and Observances
Hook your students with fun music activities and themes.
- September 2 – National Play Outside Day (The first Saturday of each month)
- September 4 – Labor Day
- September 5 – National Cheese Pizza Day
- September 9 – National Teddy Bear Day
- September 10 – National Grandparents’ Day
- September 11 – 9/11 Remembrance
- September 13 – Uncle Sam Day
- September 16 – National Collect Rocks Day/Play-Doh Day/National Dance Day
- September 17 – Citizenship Day/Constitution Day
- September 18 – National Respect Day
- September 19 – Talk Like a Pirate Day
- September 21 – International Day of Peace/World Gratitude Day
- September 23 – Autumnal Equinox, First Day of Fall/International Day of Sign Languages
- September 26 – Johnny Appleseed Day
- September 28 – National Good Neighbor Day
- September 30 – National Hot Cider Day
- Oktoberfest (Munich) September 16 – October 3
- Rosh Hashanah – begins the evening of September 15
- National Keep Kids Creative Week – September 24 – September 30
- Good Manners/Courtesy Month
- Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15)
- National Piano Month
Perfect Bilingual Storybook for Elementary Music Classroom
Rin, Rin, Rin, Do, Re, Mi by José-Luis Orozco with illustrations by David Díaz is a perfect addition to your elementary music classroom library. Consider extending the story by adding a few more bilingual elements during each reading.
In this charming storybook, a young child asks his parents to “sing to me, say letters to me, rhyme with me, count with me, read with me.”
This book is a part of the Scholastic Lee y Seras literacy campaign. Check your Scholastic book order for this title or ask your librarian to order it for your school.
Storybook Video to Introduce “Found Instruments”
Marching band season is here and it’s time to get out your rhythm sticks and “drum up” some excitement in your elementary music classroom. Thank you to the Boulder Philharmonic for this wonderful reading of Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney.
Sneak in Music Literacy Activities with Fun Songs and Games
Hop Old Squirrel is a tried and true FAVORITE game song for the elementary music classroom. The NO-PREP game requires no materials and allows students to have some good old-fashioned fun while being creative.
And, you can extend the activities with this MUSIC LITERACY guided lesson. The easy-to-use resource includes the following DIFFERENTIATED elements allowing the resource to be used with multiple grade levels.
- PowerPoint guided lesson (may be used with Google Slides)
- Iconic and standard notation
- Rhythmic Orff ostinato pattern
- Teaches and reinforces solfege hand signs
- Recorder notation
- Printable Take Home pages
- Digital online activities which may be used for practice, review, or assessment
P.S. National Squirrel Day is in January. This would be a fun time to revisit Hop Old Squirrel. 🐿️
Oktoberfest Celebrations Begin in September
Oktoberfest is all about FUN! Traditionally the celebrations start in September and last into October. The festival originally began in Germany, but today many cities and countries all around the world celebrate Oktoberfest and the German culture and traditions. Traditional activities include wiener dog (dachshund) races and costume contests, polka bands, singing, dancing, and traditional German foods and costumes.
Teaching and learning about Oktoberfest have been some of my students’ favorite music activities. Singing and dancing with a real polka band at our community festival has been a highlight of our year.
Join in the fun and learn about Oktoberfest traditions and customs and take a peek at the music activities in this differentiated Oktoberfest Music Activities. This NO-PREP resource includes a German folk song, Orff accompaniments, Boomwhackers notation, hand clap activities, the history of Oktoberfest, and more.
Don’t speak German? No problem. Two screencasts are included to teach German counting to 10 and the pronunciation of a simple German song.
Need Fun Seasonal Lessons for Fall or Halloween?
Your kids will beg to sing these songs and play the games ALL YEAR LONG! (Yes, we have done them in April. 😊) Pass the Pumpkin includes a full Orff arrangement with differentiated activities for grades K-5.
Some students and some schools do not celebrate Halloween. So, I changed up the lyrics but kept the same AWESOME activities to turn the song into a fall lesson. Pass the Pumpkin Pie may be used all season long and it’s sure to be a hit with all your students. (This is not a Thanksgiving activity, so your students that don’t celebrate any holidays should be okay singing about eating pumpkin pie.)
These kid-tested and approved activities go on my list of all-time favorite elementary music lessons.
Fall Rhythm Clip Cards as Observational Assessments
Do you need a FUN set of fall music activities to practice or assess students’ rhythm reading skills? Our Rhythm Pattern Identification Clip Cards offer the perfect solution as students listen and identify the rhythm patterns they hear.
Whether you need a review, practice, or assessment tool, these versatile clip cards fit the bill. They are well-suited for both whole-class participation and center-based activities. The leveled cards are differentiated for use in grades K-5 making them an excellent addition to your classroom resources.
🎶 Pick up your FREE Primer Set of Fall Rhythm Clip Cards when you subscribe to our helpful elementary music teacher email list at the bottom of this post. Our elementary music teacher email list is free too! 😊
Music Reading Lessons Should Be FUN
Targeted music reading lessons can, and should be, among your favorite elementary music lessons. And more importantly, music reading lessons should be some of your students’ favorite lessons.
Teachers must plan intentionally to Integrate Music Reading Into Every Music Class and use sequential lessons that build one upon another and introduce only one new element at a time. Having NO-PREP guided music reading lessons ready to go at the beginning of the year simplifies your lesson planning and saves valuable time.
Do you need ready-to-use music reading resources that include authentic assessments? These FUN sequential bundles will give your elementary music curriculum a HUGE boost.
Easily Find the Perfect Elementary Music Resources
Need help to find the perfect songs and activities to teach specific music elements?
This user-friendly Elementary Music Activity Guide includes a detailed “at-a-glance” index of music elements allowing you to quickly find the perfect activities for your lessons. The guide encompasses a wide range of both FREE and paid resources, along with valuable music teacher tips that will benefit your elementary music classroom.
Enjoy the Fall Season in Your Classroom and at Home
I hope you are inspired by the cooler, crisp weather and the changing of the seasons. Save some time for yourself and your family to enjoy the fall celebrations in your area.
Send me a quick email through our Contact Form if you have any questions or need help planning your fall elementary music lessons.
Get FREE Fall Rhythm Clip Cards When You Subscribe to Our Email List
🎶 Remember to pick up your FREE Primer Set of Fall Rhythm Clip Cards when you subscribe to our helpful elementary music teacher email list below. It’s free too! 😊
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.