23 Preschool Music Lesson Plans And Activities (2023) | Dynamic Music Room (2023)

Teaching music to young children is a great way to start a student’s love of music early on.

Most people really struggle with this age group, but when you come armed with some greatpreschool music lesson plansand activities.

So I sorted through my favorite music lessons to share with you.

Note:You don’t have to be a music teacher to use these either. Preschool teachers can use these too.

11 Vocal Warm Ups For Kids

11 Vocal Warm Ups For Kids

23 Preschool Music Lesson Plans And Activities (2023) | Dynamic Music Room (1)

Save time with these 60 FREE Music Resources to use in your room right away!

Stop searching the whole internet to find good activities. I’ll help you cut to the chase with my favorite 60 FREE resources.

Get it now!

Table of Contents

Peas Porridge Hot

This simple chant has been around for literal centuries, and it’s one of the first action songs I teach my preschool students.

The words go like this:

Peas porridge hot. (Ah!)

Peas porridge cold. (Br!)

Peas porridge in the pot

Nine days old.

Some like it hot. (Ah!)

Some like it cold. (Br!)

Some like it in the pot

Nine days old.

With this chant, I like to have them practice the steady beat on different body parts.

Body percussion is the best way to reinforce the steady beat at this age.

Percussion instruments are great, but the students get too distracted right away for real practice.

Do a little bit of moving every time, and then hand out instruments.

(Really, any of the nursery rhymes will do a great job in preschool.)

The Ants Go Marching One By One

When it comes to movement activities in preschool, we really want the kids to do two main things:

  • Move to the steady beat
  • Move freely, matching the feeling of the music

Of these, the most important thing, in my opinion, is keeping a beat.

This song is one that most people have heard of, and it’s great for steady beat movement.

March around the room while singing or listening to this song.

As a bonus, it’s appropriate for the preschool grade level, too, as it features counting.

The Crabfish

The Crabfish is a great songbook with a haunting melody.

Either sing the folk song and book yourself or listen to it and follow along with the recording at the link.

Or better yet, do both!

This is one of my favorite songs to do with any level, and it’s a regular in my preschool classroom.

Check outThe Crabfish lyricsand history in my article at the link.

Johnny Works With One Hammer

Movement games where we add in more moves, taking a simple song and making it even more fun for music time is always a blast.

This song adds in motions and works on gross motor skills.

It’s silly, and the kids love it.

Shake And Shake And Freeze

Here is a game with a bit more practice on fine motor skills for preschool on top of the musical skills we work on.

Listen and move to the video first, and then break out the egg shakers.

Egg shakers (or shaker eggs, as they’re sometimes called), for those who don’t know, are plastic eggs with little beads inside, just like maracas.

Found Sound Band

I love doing Found Sound Bands.

I take a simple song and add a steady beat.

Then, I show them how we don’t need “real” instruments to keep the beat.

We can use a lot of different sounds to make a unique band.

After setting a few safety ground rules, let kids explore and find their own ways to make music and play different instruments.

This is always a favorite from 3 year olds to 10 year olds!

Herman The Worm

Sometimes, you just have to be silly.

A lot of preschool music is creating fun, musical experiences where the students can hear different types of music and practice the steady beat.

Herman the Worm is just another example of this (with emphasis on the silly part!).

Check out the video and learn it yourself to sing with them.

You may want to slow it down a bit when you teach it to them the first time.

Aquarium Movement From Carnival Of The Animals

Classical music and expressive movement shouldn’t be ignored.

Aquarium from Carnival of the Animals is one of the perfect pieces for this age level.

It’s short enough that it’ll hold their attention, and there are enough changes in the song to make the movement go well.

Check out more directions for what I do with this (and other classical pieces besides) in my list ofclassical music to teach emotion.

23 Preschool Music Lesson Plans And Activities (2023) | Dynamic Music Room (2)

Save time with these 60 FREE Music Resources to use in your room right away!

Stop searching the whole internet to find good activities. I’ll help you cut to the chase with my favorite 60 FREE resources.

Get it now!

Mother Goony Bird

I decided to bookend the previous preschool music lesson with two silly activities, I guess!

This silly song is similar to Johnny Works With One Hammer.

We move to a steady beat and keep adding moves until we look pretty silly.

Bumping Up And Down In My Little Red Wagon

Maybe it’s just music teachers from my generation, or maybe it’s just me, but I love Raffi.

His fun songs and shows for kids were part of why I wanted to become a music teacher.

This song is one of my favorites of all the ones he’s done.

You get to bump up and down and invite students to pick different tools (or silly things) to use for movement prompts in practicing the steady beat as we fix the wagon.

Marching Band Follow The Leader

Following the leader is another great way to engage the body while moving to music.

I’m a marching band fan myself, so it’s no surprise one of my go-to’s is to pop on a standard march and lead the kids around the room.

Give them egg shakers, rhythm sticks, or hand drums if you feel brave.

I usually come with different beat motions for the first few times we play before adding in the non-pitched percussion.

One of my favorite marches to do this with is the Stars And Stripes Forever.

Pro-tip:Stick with easy moves for a while first (patting, tapping nose, touching the head) before doing harder ones like crossing the midline (great for brain development).

Did you know that following the leader requires students to focus on one person? (Duh!)

This helps a lot with social skills too.

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Little Bunny Foo Foo is a classic finger play activity with a great steady beat.

After the students know it really well, I like to extend the learning in a couple of different ways:

  1. Acting out the story
  2. Adding instruments to match parts of the story
  3. Playing the steady beat while singing
  4. Watching/reading other variations and discussing how they’re the same and different.

Apples And Bananas

Who doesn’t love this song with preschoolers?

It’s so much fun!

Plus, you get to practice some good vowel sounds.

Any time we can get cross-curricular with important concepts like speech and letter sounds is a big deal with this age group.


When I was first teaching, I remember standing with one of my pre-K teachers in the hall as her kids took a bathroom break.

Those waiting in line were a little impatient about how long another one of their friends was taking.

I jokingly said: “Well, these preschoolers don’t have a lot of patience, do they?”

She looked at me deadpanned and responded: “That’s the understatement of the century!”

In music, we can help develop self-control and patience through songs that require focus and waiting.

B-I-N-G-O removes a letter each time on the chorus, forcing the students’ brains to wait for the spot where those words would be.

Bonus:It also prepares them for learning quarter rest faster in their older grades.

Hokey Pokey

Fine motor control and knowledge of body parts are two of the key elements of preschool education.

And this song hits both of these in spades!

Play this song for maximum fun and learning with music.

10 In The Bed

Counting backward is almost as important as counting forward, and doing it with a song helps the students learn it even faster!

There’s a reason there are so many catchy kid songs and music activities that help them learn better.

We’re On Our Way

This is a fun one I like to use as we’re getting closer to a holiday.

Even if they’re not going anywhere for a break, the students can still sing about the stuff they’ll find at home.

It provides a great chance to get to know the kids when you only see them for a limited amount of time.

Musical Coloring

Art and music go together really well.

Whether you tell students to simply color what they feel or tell them a story to draw while music plays, musical coloring is a slam dunk in terms of creativity and listening.

Classical music works best here, especially if it has a clear feeling to it.

Check out theseclassical songs that teach dynamicsin our article at the link.

Name That Tune

For Name That Tune, you’ll want to make a playlist of kids’ songs they know well (Disney songs, for example) or learn how to play them yourself on an instrument such as the recorder or piano.

Then, give them a hint of the song or play it without words to have them guess what it is.

Split into teams or keep track of how many they got right to keep it even more interesting.

Pro-tip:Make your last tune the next one you want to sing or play with on your preschool music lesson plan.

Build Your Own Musical Instruments

Building your own musical instruments is a big undertaking, but it’s one a lot of people love to do.

I’ll admit I don’t have much experience in this, so I’ll link you tothis articlefor specific ideas on building DIY instruments.

Freeze Dance

Freeze Dance is always a blast.

Put on a song they know and tell them to dance.

Give them specific dance moves if they don’t have ideas for how to move on their own.

Then, pause the song regularly to “trick them.”

When the song pauses, they have to freeze.

Some people make it a competition and make those who don’t stop fast enough sit out.

I don’t always do that, but if I do, I’ll also let everyone back in after a minute of sitting out.

Check out my article onhow to play freeze dancefor more ideas.

Scarf Dancing

Getting out fabric scarves and adding them to your movement refreshes the same activities you did before, but now it feels new to your kids.

Do this with classical music or songs that have a motion to them.

Check out mydancing with scarves lesson plan templatefor help in organizing and teaching with these.

Trust me, adding onto activities with scarves is a lot easier on your lesson planning than always coming up with new stuff.

Online Music Games (PBS Kids)

If you have access to technology, it may not be a bad idea to offer them some time (on occasion) to explore music games.

I don’t like to use too much of this as it’s nowhere near as good as making actual music.

But if you show them certain games on PBS Kids or Chrome Music Lab, they can explore more at home too!

Check out our list of thebest online music games for the classroom.

23 Preschool Music Lesson Plans And Activities (2023) | Dynamic Music Room (3)

Save time with these 60 FREE Music Resources to use in your room right away!

Stop searching the whole internet to find good activities. I’ll help you cut to the chase with my favorite 60 FREE resources.

Get it now!


What do you teach preschoolers in music? ›

Combining music and movement helps preschoolers learn to control their bodies. They learn to move fast to fast music, and more slowly to slow tunes. They also can learn the hand movements and simple dance moves that go along with rhymes and songs.

What should a music lesson plan include? ›

Let's dive right in!
  • Establish a Routine for Lesson Planning. This is a stumbling block for many music teachers. ...
  • Write It Down. ...
  • Consider Standards. ...
  • Set a Classroom Routine. ...
  • Determine a Sequence. ...
  • Choose Themes and Units. ...
  • Keep an Ideas List. ...
  • Look for New Ideas.

What are the objectives of music for preschoolers? ›

Improve balance, coordination and rhythm through dance and movement activities. Improve small motor skills‐learning finger plays and playing musical instruments.

What are the examples of musical activities? ›

Ideas for Musical Games
  • Game of “Freeze Dance” Enjoy a game of "Freeze Dance" with one of the songs from your collection. ...
  • Mirror Game. Partners face each other at arm's distance apart. ...
  • Prop-passing Game. ...
  • Musical Drawing. ...
  • Musical Hot Potato. ...
  • Play Homemade Drums. ...
  • Follow-the-Leader Conga Line.

How do you use music in a preschool classroom? ›

How can teachers use music learning resources in the preschool classroom?
  1. Sing songs with children during group time or as part of classroom routines.
  2. Play a variety of music styles using library or streaming resources.
  3. Move and dance to music with students.

How can I make my music lesson more fun? ›

6 Tips For Creating The Best Music Lessons For Kids
  1. Keep it short and sweet. Children are notorious for having short attention spans. ...
  2. Rely on themes. Themes are a great way to get your students excited about class. ...
  3. Use music your students enjoy. ...
  4. Encourage interaction. ...
  5. Introduce friendly competition. ...
  6. Always stay positive.
Nov 24, 2020

What are the 5 lesson plan format? ›

These phases include Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.

What are the four teaching strategies in music? ›

Here are some effective music teaching strategies for today's learners.
  • Make Use of Technology. ...
  • An Inclusive Classroom Is a Key to Success. ...
  • Keep Them Engaged with Their Favorite Music. ...
  • Let Them Have Fun. ...
  • Mix Up Activities.

What are the musical activities do children have? ›

Musical Activities for Preschoolers
  • Animal dance.
  • Bear hunt.
  • Composition for preschool.
  • Dance with me.
  • Dancing with props.
  • Draw what you hear.
  • Family band.
  • Family karaoke.
Nov 20, 2022

What is a musical activity? ›

Musical activities such as listening to music, playing an instrument, singing or dancing are also an important source for social contact, promoting interaction and the sense of belonging with others.

How do you engage children in music activities? ›

Keeping a steady beat with your baby or toddler is one of the very first ways you can start engaging your child musically.
  1. Listen to Music Together. ...
  2. Move to Music Together. ...
  3. Sing Together. ...
  4. Sound Exploration.

What is the main goal in teaching music? ›

Knowing about music, developing sensitive and critical listening skills, creating and performing music, and understanding the role of music in history and contemporary society are all vital ingredients in the education of every student.

What do preschoolers learn from music and movement? ›

Conclusion. Music and movement activities engage young children in the learning process and help develop things like motor skills, coordination, and balance. They also improve children's language and social-emotional development and promote creative expression.

How do you write a music learning objective? ›

Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify genres and styles of various musical traditions and historical periods both in notation and aurally.
  2. Analyze and evaluate music in relation to its historical, cultural, and social circumstances.
  3. Write effectively about music using precise analytical vocabulary.

What are the five things of music? ›

Musical composition is nothing but an intricate architectural combination of five parameters or musical elements: Sound, Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, and Growth.

What are the 7 elements musical play? ›

There are seven of these: Pitch, Duration, Dynamics, Tempo, Timbre, Texture and Structure.

How do you teach preschoolers instruments? ›

Either way, here are some tips I've picked up along the way.
  1. Let the child play the instrument. The number one thing to do is to let the child have fun with the instrument. ...
  2. Pick an inexpensive instrument in a small size. ...
  3. Relax. ...
  4. Practice by yourself first. ...
  5. Keep it simple. ...
  6. Write a song together.
May 17, 2019

Why is the music corner important in preschool? ›

A music and movement center can help children develop their gross and fine motor skills, improve their balance and coordination, hone their listening skills, and learn about cultures around the world.

How do you end a music lesson? ›

Six ways to end music class
  1. #1: Closing greetings. A simple but fun way to say goodbye to your students is to sing goodbye to them! ...
  2. #2: Listening. ...
  3. #3: Sing as lining up. ...
  4. #4: Review of lesson. ...
  5. #5: Exit slips. ...
  6. #6: Star student.

How do you teach melody to preschoolers? ›

A simple way to improve your students' understanding of melody is simply to sing patterns on solfa and have them echo. Then, you could have them sing back from a recorder or xylophone–you play the pattern, and they have to decode and figure out what the pattern is.

How do you make music exciting? ›

7 Tips For Making Your Songs More Exciting
  1. 7 Tips For Making Your Songs More Exciting. ...
  2. Create An Intensity Plan. ...
  3. Create An Instant Hook. ...
  4. Keep Things Clear And Simple. ...
  5. Build Up The Highlights. ...
  6. Add Surprises. ...
  7. Repeat Catchy Parts. ...
  8. Make the Music Evolve Constantly.

What are the 7 C's lesson plan? ›

The 7Cs are: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, information, and media literacy, Computing and ICT literacy, Cross-cultural understanding, and Career and learning self-reliance.

What is the 4 A's of lesson plan? ›

The 4As of adult learning: Activity, Analysis, Abstraction, and Application is illustrated in Figure 6-1. The constructivist approach to teaching asserts that a Learner gains and builds knowledge through experience.

Where do I start lesson planning? ›

(1) Determine the objective (2) Research the topic as defined by the objective (3) Select the appropriate instructional method (4) Identify a usable lesson planning format (5) Decide how to organize the lesson (6) Choose appropriate support material (7) Prepare the beginning and ending of the lesson (8) Prepare a final ...

How do you teach little kids music? ›

How to Teach Music to Toddlers
  1. Sing Songs Together. ...
  2. Playing an Instrument Yourself Around Your Toddler. ...
  3. Buy Your Child a (Toy) Instrument. ...
  4. Form a Family Band. ...
  5. Create a Music Playlist for Your Toddler. ...
  6. Making Music Through Musical Apps. ...
  7. Give Your Toddler a Singing Voice Using Solfège. ...
  8. Turn Daily Activities Into Musical Ones.
Jun 4, 2021

What are the three main types of learning in the music classroom? ›

Potential Types of Music Learners

Musically inclined. Visually inclined. Literacy inclined.

What are the activities in elements of music? ›

Singing, playing instruments, moving, listening, reading and writing, and creating are the vehicles through which our musical knowledge is demonstrated. These elements and activities can be incorporated into every children's choir rehearsal to achieve balance and help train consummate musicians!

What are 3 examples of play activities or play material for toddlers? ›

Things for pretending and building—many blocks for building complex structures, transportation toys, construction sets, child-sized furniture (“apartment” sets, play food), dress-up clothes, dolls with accessories, puppets and simple puppet theaters, and sand and water play toys.

What is musical intelligence activities? ›

Playing Musical Instruments

Playing musical instruments is the best activity to improve your kids' musical intelligence. So you need to create the space for younger children to engage with music through simple instruments such as rhythm sticks, drums, or tambourines.

What is music and movement activities? ›

What are music and movement activities? Music and movement activities are exactly what they sound like. These are activities that incorporate gross motor skills and elements of fine motor skills with music.

Is music a creative activity? ›

Thanks to its structure and order, your type of music allows you to concentrate on the tasks at hand. As a result, your brain can achieve a much more open state which allows more ideas to enter that helps you become more creative. Creativity is not only achieved through one's self's imagination.

What are the benefits of musical activities? ›

Musical benefits
  • Brain growth. Studies in neuroscience show that music can enhance brain function in children. ...
  • Language skills. ...
  • Maths skills. ...
  • Memory, attention and concentration. ...
  • Increased coordination. ...
  • Achievement and discipline. ...
  • Social skills. ...
  • The joy of music.
Apr 17, 2020

What are the most important attribute of a music teacher? ›

A great music teacher is well-organized, conscientious of the time, and knows how to stay productive during the entire duration of each music lesson. But organization goes both ways. You'll need to be well-organized, too, and should arrive to your music lessons early so that you're ready to start promptly on time.

What are some quotes about music? ›

45 Music Quotes to Inspire You
  • “How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations?” – ...
  • “Music is like a dream. ...
  • “The only truth is music.” – ...
  • “Music is the shorthand of emotion.” – ...
  • “Music was my refuge. ...
  • “Where words fail, music speaks.” –
Apr 1, 2022

What are the benefits of music activities for children? ›

Benefits of Music for Children
  • Improve fine and large motor skills. Music helps children of all ages improve their fine and gross motor skills. ...
  • Build close relationships. ...
  • Develop language skills. ...
  • Improve the management of emotions. ...
  • Build self-confidence and self-esteem. ...
  • Encourage teamwork.
Apr 27, 2021

How does music help cognitive development? ›

How Does Music Help in the Cognitive Development of a Child? The different forms of cognitive development caused due to music in children are as follows: Listening to music improves auditory memory, pitch discrimination, and selective attention, thereby engaging the scattered network of brain structures.

What are the major elements of music that should be included in the early childhood classroom? ›

The six elements, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, form, timbre and texture, are universally considered to be the fundamental systems that underpin all music. They all have an important part to play in any musical style, be it pop, classical, soul, nursery rhymes… you name it, they're there!

What are the 3 learning objectives examples? ›

These three types of learning include: Creating new knowledge (Cognitive) • Developing feelings and emotions (Affective) • Enhancing physical and manual skills (Psychomotor) Page 2 Learning objectives can also be scaffolded so that they continue to push student learning to new levels in any of these three categories.

What are 7 learning objectives? ›

A good learning objective, for example, seeks to demonstrate the actions that learners successfully perform – List (Remember), Classify (Understand), Use (Apply), Categorize (Analyze), Appraise (Evaluate), and Produce (Create) – upon completing a unit of learning.

What are the 1st grade music learning objectives? ›

By the end of first grade students will be able to:

identify half notes and half rests. identify notes on a line or a space. clap the steady beat to music. sing in a round.

What do you teach in a music class? ›

Classes can teach students to read and write music, to sing and play instruments, or focus on the history of music.

What are the elements of music in early childhood? ›

The six elements, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, form, timbre and texture, are universally considered to be the fundamental systems that underpin all music. They all have an important part to play in any musical style, be it pop, classical, soul, nursery rhymes… you name it, they're there!

What do they teach in music? ›

They teach different disciplines of music, such as theory, instruments, orchestra, band, basics of music, choir or a combination of all the disciplines. They usually work full-time or part-time at educational institutes and may also work independently to offer private music classes.

What skills does music develop? ›

Musical benefits
  • Brain growth. Studies in neuroscience show that music can enhance brain function in children. ...
  • Language skills. ...
  • Maths skills. ...
  • Memory, attention and concentration. ...
  • Increased coordination. ...
  • Achievement and discipline. ...
  • Social skills. ...
  • The joy of music.
Apr 17, 2020

How do I prepare a music lesson? ›

Ways to Prepare for Music Lessons
  1. Get Organized. Have your music supplies together and ready before your class begins. ...
  2. Practice. Practice is essential when learning a new instrument. ...
  3. Set Goals. Write down what you want to accomplish in this class. ...
  4. Review Your Progress.
Sep 15, 2015

What is the best method in teaching music? ›

Here are 6 effective and solid teaching strategies for better music lessons so you can keep students engaged and increase their chances of succeeding in learning their instrument.
  1. Make The Most Out Of Technology. ...
  2. Keep The Music You Teach Relevant. ...
  3. Mix Things Up A Little. ...
  4. Keep Things Fun. ...
  5. Inclusivity Is The Key.

What to do during music lesson? ›

  • Get Rhythmic with Syllables. Introduce young children to the simple rhythms found in familiar words. ...
  • Play or Sing Along with Solfeg.io. Make use of new technology in your music classroom. ...
  • Use Flash Cards for Visual Clarity. ...
  • Practise Conducting. ...
  • Link Pitch to Movement. ...
  • Music, Movies, Feeling.

What are the 7 elements of music? ›

Although the exact definition of music varies widely even in the West, music contains melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, pitch, silence, and form or structure.

What are the 5 basic musical elements? ›

Melody, harmony, rhythm, and form and the expressive elements of dynamics, tempo, and timbre (tone color).

What are the 7 elements of music play? ›

For the purpose of this class, we will refer to SEVEN elements of music: Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Timbre, Dynamics, Texture, and Form.

What are the 6 things of music? ›

This series introduces the six key elements of music including rhythm, texture, dynamics, pitch, form, and timbre. Children will build their knowledge of basic music techniques through a set of fun activities based on each element, and they'll grow their confidence and collaborative skills along the way.

What are the most important things to learn in music? ›

Fundamentals of music
  1. Pitch. Take a keyboard. ...
  2. Scale. A lot of people confuse scale with pitch. ...
  3. Rhythm. Those who are familiar with musicology will know that rhythm is a consecutive arrangement of beats or notes played in a loop as the supporting accompaniment of a song. ...
  4. Melody. Melody is what makes music, music. ...
  5. Chords.

What do children learn in music? ›

Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Arline Emard IV

Last Updated: 17/10/2023

Views: 5620

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arline Emard IV

Birthday: 1996-07-10

Address: 8912 Hintz Shore, West Louie, AZ 69363-0747

Phone: +13454700762376

Job: Administration Technician

Hobby: Paintball, Horseback riding, Cycling, Running, Macrame, Playing musical instruments, Soapmaking

Introduction: My name is Arline Emard IV, I am a cheerful, gorgeous, colorful, joyous, excited, super, inquisitive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.