The web is an excellent resource for music teachers who need free education materials for the elementary classroom. There are a number of sites that offers articles about music education and teaching strategies, lesson plans, classroom tools, children’s songs, fingerplays, and other helpful materials. Here are 15 sites to explore throughout the school year.
MusTech.net – Created by Dr. Prof. Joseph Pisano, this music technology site is a good place for elementary teachers to read about music education, music technology, and music advocacy. Other site features include links to music-related hardware, software, and freeware.
The Lesson Plans Page – HotChalk’s Lesson Plans Page provides hundreds of detailed lesson plans for music teachers. Lessons are available for elementary, middle school, and high schools students.
Teachers.net – More than 100 music-related lesson plans are available for elementary school students at Teachers.net. Lessons are also available for middle school students.
We the Teachers – This social networking site was not created specifically for music teachers, but it is still a good resource for lesson plans and other classroom tools. Teachers can share lesson plans, ideas, and philosophies in the forum and meet other teachers from around the world.
The Children’s Music Network – Created by teachers, musical performers, and parents in the U.S. and Canada, The Children’s Music Network (CMN) is a non-profit organization that shares songs and ideas about children’s music. Teachers can use the CMN site to find classroom resources, view upcoming events, and learn more about organizations that promote children’s music.
NNCC Fingerplays Plus – The NNCC (National Network for Child Care) offers a large selection of fingerplays and rhymes for elementary school children. Suggestions for related activities are also provided.
Judy and David’s Online Songbook – This no-frills website is a good place to find songs for children to sing in the classroom. Hundreds of songs are available on almost every topic imaginable.
Soundpiper – Soundpiper provides free children’s song lyrics and activity suggestions for the classroom. Teachers can also learn more about methods of music instruction and get tips on making homemade instruments.
Music from Across America – Created for grades K-5, this EDSITEment music learning unit introduces students to different instruments and sounds from various cultures and geographic regions. The unit includes multiple lessons, suggested activities, and other materials for the classroom.
Essentials of Music – Essentials of Music is a classical music site with a large glossary, biographies of famous composers, and information about various eras of music. The site also provides audio excerpts of some of the most famous classical music pieces.
Naxos – Naxos, one of the world’s leading classical music labels, offers an enormous glossary of music terminology as well as a basic introduction to classical music and instruments.
Free Kids Music – This site provides free music downloads from independent children’s music artists. There are songs for learning and education and songs for fun and play.
Free Songs for Kids – Sponsored by Songs for Teaching, this music site provides free kids’ music (lyrics and audio), children’s song videos, printable sheet music, and other useful elementary classroom materials.
Music Teachers Blog – The Fun Music Company offers a Music Teachers Blog with free lesson plans, teaching strategies, and other useful resources for elementary music teachers.
Music Teacher’s Helper – This web-based computer program for music teachers tracks lesson schedules, invoices, payments, and more. It is free to use for teachers who have three students or less.
Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes about online degree programs for OnlineDegreePrograms.org.