Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fun Freebies For Music Teachers

Hello everyone,

This week I am so thankful to celebrate a Teachers Pay Teachers Milestone! Thank you so much for your support of my store in helping me to reach my goal of over 200 followers! I could not have achieved this milestone without you, so I wanted to offer a few freebies as a way to say "thanks".

Download these free Orff Instrument Labels for your class. They would also look great in any concert or music program. You can grab this freebie by clicking on the picture.

The next freebie is one of my classes favorite songs. This is a great song to play on boomwhachers, recorders, or Orff instruments. It has a fun mini lesson and covers several essential music skills to teach your class. You can check it out here by clicking on the Snake Charmer picture on my sidebar or Freebie Tab at the top of this page.

Want more freebies? Click on the pictures below to grab these freebies for your class. Again, I would like to give a big heart felt thank you for your support! Enjoy these free music products! Sherry Stucki :)


Friday, November 6, 2015

What Really Works to Get Kids Reading Music Notes

Welcome to Mrs. Stucki's Music Class

I'm focusing on activities that really work to get kids reading their music notes. I've found that playing music games and note repetition are the easiest way for kids to learn note reading. Games are a great way to engage students in repetitive note reading, so I thought I would share some fun games that really work to get kids quickly reading their music notes.

Fun Note Reading Game:  Musical Candyland game is a big hit with my classes. This game reinforces note reading because it gives the students a lot of repetition. The game is played like the traditional Candyland except that kids must read the music note on the card they draw before they can move their marker.

Musical Candy Land Note Game
Musical Candyland is also a perfect game to use for music centers. I like to have half of my class play the Candyland game while the rest of the class works on music note worksheets. After 12 minutes, I'll tell the class to switch places. If they are working on coloring worksheets, they will now get to play the Candyland game while the other students work on the coloring worksheets. 

This game comes with: music note game cards, music note flash cards, a student answer key sheet and note coloring pages to use for assessments or for note reading practice. (I use 2 Musical Candyland game boards in my music centers- with several kids on each board). If you want to use this game for your class, you can check it out here.

Recorder Note Reading Contest
Mad Minute Game: This game only takes one minute, but is one of the fastest ways to help your class learn the names of their notes. I make a star for each student in my class. Place the student's name on their own star. Simply give a one minute timed note reading test. (I usually give them a music charm for passing the test). When a student passes their Mad Minute note reading quiz, take their star and move it up to the next level on your wall or bulletin board. This will help you keep track of which test to give to each student. The class will love seeing their name on the wall as they improve at reading notes to advance to the next level (I use Mad Minute Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond Levels). You can turn it into a contest to see what class earns their Gold level 1st. My class works hard to earn the Gold level to receive a special prize. I know they are ready for playing recorders when everyone has passed the Bronze level. This encourages the class work hard to pass the Bronze level so they can start their 1st recorder class. They take note reading more seriously when they know they have to pass the Bronze level in order to start recorders.

If you are looking for more ideas for  note reading with your class, check out these other fun note reading games below. Enjoy Sherry Stucki :)     



Saturday, October 10, 2015

Loads of Fun Halloween Games & Activities

Welcome to Mrs. Stucki's Music Class!

My students are so excited about Halloween this year. They are already asking to sing Halloween songs and play Halloween games. Here are some of the things I've done that are a big hit with my students.
Cool Ghost Singing Game:
This ghost game is one of their favorite singing activities. The game gets the class reading new rhythms and learning to compose music. They love being able to use these ghost cards to compose their own music for the "B" section in the music. I have my class sing a variety of short songs such as "Bubble In A Dish" for the "A" section of the music. They perform the "B" section by clapping or playing instruments to the ghost rhythms that are placed on the board. I select a new person to compose a different rhythm pattern for the class to perform and repeat the game.

Mystery Composer Game:
I like to introduce Johann Sebastian Bach to my class by using this fun mystery composer game. The class gets to pop the Balloons and learn fun facts about Bach. They love popping the balloons to discover that Bach had 20 children along with a variety of other facts. The class is always surprised that they have already heard the music to Bach's Taccata & Fugue in "D" Minor. This music is used in cartoons and TV shows around Halloween time. Bach's music is

also a great example for teaching your class about music with a minor sound. (Many more games and activities are located inside the ghost game and mystery composer packets).

Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think or tell me about your favorite Halloween activity. See you again soon! Sherry Stucki :)

You can also check out some more spooky Halloween games, songs and activities by clicking on the words:

Halloween Eye Spy                                 Halloween Beat Chart                         Solo Singing Games

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What No One Tells You About Your Music Classes

Are You Having To Do This Over and Over Again?

I was spending a lot of time, redoing my seating charts. Almost every time I came to school a new student transferred to my music class or moved away. Sometimes I would need to redo the seating chart to move a student that was misbehaving or move the seat of a special needs student being moved from one music class to another. This would force me to use considerable time redoing seating charts instead of using my time writing lesson plans or preparing materials for the next lesson.

I've used a variety of seating charts throughout my teaching career but really liked using computer generated seating charts. This didn't solve my problem. I quickly found that if you change one name on the seating chart, you would need to re-type a lot of other seats again. I just didn't have that much time to type up new seating charts every week. There had to be a better way to do seating charts that didn't take up so much time. One day I noticed the Art teacher using a seating chart I hadn't seen before. It was such a simple idea that I wish I had known about this when I fist became a teacher. I took her idea and tried it out in my own room. I was thrilled to learn that it worked for any style of seating chart. It worked so well that I still use it today.

Instant Seating Charts
Once you set-up your seating chart, you'll never need to retype another chart for the rest of the school year. Here is how it works. Use the smallest sticky note paper and cut them in half. Place one name on the sticky note paper. Do this for each child in the class. Arrange the names on a color sheet of paper to form a class seating chart. Do this for each music class that you have. (I like to tape the child's picture next to their name.

When you remove a child from the class list, just remove the sticky note with that child's name and attach it on your class roster so you know who moved. Simply shift the other sticky note seats around to fill in the gap of the missing child. In a matter of seconds you have a current seating chart. You can easily add children by adding a new sticky note paper to your chart and shift the other names around forming the new seating chart. Place your charts in a page protector to secure the sticky notes. You can also write on top of the page protector with an expo pen to place a grade or small note by the child's name. Quickly make a copy of your current seating chart for a substitute teacher.

I use colored dots on the corner of the sticky notes for color codes to tag special needs children or children that need more help with learning. I only need to record names on my seating chart once each year. I quickly move the sticky notes around whenever I need to make a change. Give it a try. I'd love to hear from you, so please take just a moment to leave a friendly comment below. Thank You!

Want more fun activities and ideas for your music class? be sure to Sign-up by email on my side bar to claim a monthly freebie, teacher tips & tricks,  Sherry :)

Check out some of my favorite games and activities!

Smartboard Music Games     Substitute Music Plans

Friday, August 21, 2015

Score Back to School deals for Music Teachers

Welcome Back! This week I'm excited to let all my followers know about my back to school deals. I have several Freebies that you can download just by clicking on my TpT tab at the top of this web page. Just look for all the freebies and download them. Yes, they are completely free!I will also be giving a discount for all my TpT teacher products for this week only. Score some fun music lesson plans, exciting smart board games, music worksheets, folk dancing cards, lots of fun music games, guided composing lessons, recorder mad minutes and much more.

Look for my best seller: Substitute Plans To The Rescue- It has great ideas for music sub plans. These sub plans are editable and you can pick and choose any lessons that work for your class. Check out this one stop shopping for your music class by clicking on the TpT tab at the top of my page while they are still on sale. Check out the smartboard game below. My class love to play smartboard games and I like to use them in music centers.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great school year! Sherry Stucki :)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

3 Essential Back to School Items For Music Teachers

Welcome back teachers! It's that time of year when we all start thinking about our list of things to do for the beginning of the school year. I thought it would be nice to share a few ideas to help out with your back to school challenges. Here are 3 essential back to school items for your classroom that I'd like to share. Bulletin Boards: here is a super easy Cake Themed Bulletin Board that can be put together very quickly. This eye-catching bulletin board reinforces rhythm reading with your class. If you want to use this bulletin board kit in your classroom you can find it at my Tpt Store by clicking here.
Scarves: there are so many fun things you can do with colorful scarves but they are quite costly. Here is how I got 26 extra-large scarves for less than $20 dollars.
I bought 13 yards of cloth (called tulle/ material to make ballerina tutus) at JoAnne Fabrics. I had the store cut the fabric into 1 yard sections which saved me so much time. The cloth is extra wide, so after I got home, I cut the fabrics in half(width). I ended up with 26 scarves. Not bad for spending less than $20 dollars. Music Games: as a teacher, I'm all about making learning fun for my students. My student's favorite ways to learn music is by playing music games, singing games or learning through movement activities. If you want to supercharge your class while teaching musical concepts, you can check out these super fun games for your class at my TpT store by clicking on these games: Crazy Ball Swatt Game Wipe Out.
I'd love to hear from you, so please take just a moment to leave a friendly comment below. Thank You! Sherry Stucki Want more fun activities and ideas for your music class? be sure to Sign-up by email on my side bar to claim a monthly freebie, teacher tips & tricks. I would love to hear thoughts you might have in the comments below. Sherry :) Check out some of my favorite games and activities! You can contact me via email:

Saturday, July 11, 2015

6 Strategies Teaching Your Chorus Class New Sheet Music!

6 Strategies Teaching Your Chorus Class New Sheet Music!

Welcome back teachers!
Today I'll be talking about chorus class. You can introduce new music to your choir by teaching it in a way that is engaging and fun. This requires a lot of planning. Here are some tips to help your choir learn a new song for chorus class.

Focus On New Music First
Introduce a new song right after warm-ups at the beginning of the rehearsal. Singers will be fresh and more focused to tackle new repertoire at the beginning of your class

Start With the Chorus Section
Starting with unison sections or the chorus section in the music involves everyone singing together right away. The chorus is repeated throughout the music. This way the singers feel like they're accomplishing something early in the rehearsal.

Keep Everyone Involved
Teaching several vocal parts all at once in a new song can be challenging. The rehearsal can quickly fall apart if you are working on a vocal part for one section and leaving the other sections without anything to do. I like to use the divide and conquer rule. As you are working with one section, keep the rest of the choir busy by giving them an assignment. Have them begin to learn the music on their own by using inner singing work (silently humming their parts inside their heads). They can do this by silently using the Curwen Kodaly hand signs to learn their pitches in the music. Just give them their starting pitch and you magically have everyone working on different parts at the same time.

Use Movement
Students learn better if you add movement to the tricky parts of a melody. Don't just tell the class to hold out a musical phrase longer or smoother. Instead, have them slowly wave their arm from one side of their body to the other side of their body to form an arch. Now have them slowly move their arm to form an arch and sing the musical phrase at the same time. They will instantly perform the music with smoother phrasing. Adding movement will also help keep the class more focused on singing and help maintain interest in learning new music.

Ask A Question
Get your singers involved by asking questions; don't just give them all the answers. Questions such as: Do we need to use more dynamics? Is the melody or the harmony more important? This will get them taking a more active role in understanding how the piece comes together and what can improve it.

Point Out the Short Cuts
Save rehearsal time by pointing out repetitions, similarities and repeated lyrics in the music. This keeps things moving forward in the rehearsal by quickly reviewing all the repeated parts throughout the music. Don't forget to have fun by celebrating their efforts and learning.

Thanks for stopping by today. I'd love to hear from you about how you tackle new repertoire with your choir. Sherry Stucki

Want more fun activities and ideas for your music class?
be sure to Sign-up by email on my side bar to claim a monthly freebie, teacher tips & tricks. I would love to hear thoughts you might have in the comments below. Sherry :)

Check out some of my favorite games and activities!
You can contact me via

      Substitute Music Plans     Smartboard Music Games

Friday, July 3, 2015

Technology In The Music Class Part-2

Welcome Back!

Technology In The Music Class Part-2
This week I want to share 3 fun note training websites you can use with your music classes. I noticed that my students learn note reading faster when they play computer games. It is a win-win opportunity to have your students practice note reading while having fun playing a music game on the computer. I'm always amazed how competitive they get when they play computer games.  I am very exited to try these games with my class this year.

Music Teacher Games: This is a very simple note reading game. I like to call it the Speed Note Game because it challenges the children to read the notes quickly to earn the highest score within a certain amount of time. They can repeat the game to try to out score their last game.

Note Trainer: Simply click the note name that appears on the staff and the computer will keep track of your score as you go. You can also play another game using this piano. Your class can play fun melodies on the piano by clicking on the piano keys. I think it would be great to have each student write their own song on a music staff to share with the rest of the class.

Classics For Kids: This website has another fun note reading game to help your class read their notes. It spells out mystery words for the class to discover. You can have them list all the mystery words they used in the game for a note reading assessment. Check back next week for more ideas for your classroom.

Want more fun activities and ideas for your music class?
be sure to Sign-up by email on my side bar to claim a monthly freebie, teacher tips & tricks. I would love to hear thoughts you might have in the comments below. Sherry :)

Check out some of my favorite games and activities!
You can contact me via

      Substitute Music Plans     Smartboard Music Games

Friday, June 26, 2015

Technology In The Music Classroom

Hello Teachers,
I hope you are having a fun summer!

Technology In The Music  Classroom Part-1
My classes love using technology such as smartboard games, ipod games, youtube and music software.  They can’t seem to get enough of them so I decided to spend some time checking out fun websites to use in my classroom. Here are two websites I’d like to use in my classroom.

Chuck Vanderchucks "Something Something" Explosion
I really had a blast with all the different games for this  website.  Your class can explore eight unique musical styles with the rockin' Chuck Vanderchuck and his bandmate, Ramona. Help the band write song lyrics, test your ears with a "Name That Instrument" game, and create your own tunes too!

Click on the picture to check out this website!

Music Exploratorium
Find out the scientific answers to some of your most common music questions such as "Why do some songs get stuck in my head?". Want to create your own music? Check out the Dot Mixer and Step Re-mix in the Online Exhibits.

Click on the picture to check out this website!

Next week I will be sharing some fun note reading websites I think will be fun for your classes. I can't wait to see if the note reading games will help my students become better note readers this year. See you next week for Technology In The Music Classroom Part-2. What music websites do your children like the most? I would love to hear about them. Sherry Stucki :)

Want more fun activities and ideas for your music class?
be sure to Sign-up by email on my side bar to claim a monthly freebie, teacher tips & tricks. I would love to hear thoughts you might have in the comments below. Sherry :)

Check out some of my favorite games and activities!
You can contact me via

      Substitute Music Plans     Smartboard Music Games

Friday, June 12, 2015

Popular Music Activity!

Popular Music Activity!
Welcome Back Teachers!
End of The Year Challenge: By the end of the year my classes are so excited with all the extra activities going on in school such as  field day,  the school talent show and end of the year class parties, that it is hard for them to focus on learning new skills.
The Solution: I keep them learning by saving one of their favorite music lessons for the end of the year.  I save “The Carnival of The Animals” lesson for my 1st and 2nd graders for the last two weeks of school. I do a fun activity by highlighting half of the animals one week and then the rest of the animals the second week.

Mini Lesson: This activity is so fun that your class will beg to do it again. The last animal I do is called the  “Aquarium” .  I have the class sit in a circle around 2 black lights. For safety reasons, I tell the class they are not allowed to stand up during the music since the room lights will be turned off. They are also not allowed to touch the lights.  I show my class different ways they can move their fish to look like the fish are swimming, such as (move the wrist back and forth, moving the fish up or down or making the fish shimmer as it moves).

Using Fish To Swim to the Music

I tell them to pretend that the room is a giant aquarium and when the music starts, they can begin to let their fish swim. The picture above  is hard to see, but the fish are glowing in the dark and it looks just like an aquarium full of fish swimming .

Where I Got My Fish: I found these over sized fish at the Lake Shore Learning Teacher Store. I picked these fish because they are colorful and durable. Just  laminate them so you can use  them over again next year. Have a great Summer! Sherry :)

Want more fun activities and ideas for your music class?
be sure to Sign-up by email on my side bar to claim a monthly freebie, teacher tips & tricks. I would love to hear thoughts you might have in the comments below. Sherry :)

Check out some of my favorite games and activities!Contact me via

      Substitute Music Plans     Smartboard Music Games