Project-Based Learning in Music Classrooms

music teacher helping a student

Teaching music for kids is a dream job for people who are interested in pursuing music education. However, working in a music classroom may be more difficult than you think. Music teachers have to create exciting activities that engage students and also help them learn different types of instruments, read music, and use their voice as an instrument.

Not every student who enters a music classroom has the same level of interest in music education. Music literacy is not always taught strongly in schools and so the students that you encounter may have varying degrees of understanding of how to read music. Additionally, some students may be more interested in just the instrument or singing parts of the music classroom and not want to devote the time to develop their music literacy. That is where project-based learning comes in. As a teacher in a music classroom, you can help students develop all of those musical skills over the course of several projects.

Project-Based Learning Makes Music Classrooms Personalized

In a project-based music classroom, students personalize their own learning to show their understanding of certain key standards and outcomes. In addition to the academic music standards, project-based learning in the music classroom helps students to develop 21st-century skills such as collaboration, communication and creativity.

Getting Started with Project-Based Learning in the Music Classroom

The keys to project-based learning are that students become more responsible for their education. They connect with their interests and passions in order to make learning relevant for themselves. Project-based learning is inquiry-based and allows students to acquire skills using the tools that they choose.

When designing a project for your students, start small. Center it around learner outcomes and make it relevant to their interests. Remember to come up with a rubric or way to assess the project and allow students and groups to self-assess their outcomes and their process.

Project-Based Learning Ideas for the Music Classroom

To help develop practical instrumental and voice skills, as well as vocal music literacy, there are several different types of small projects that you can use are engaging and also help teach music to kids. Students can:

● Create a remix of a song that they enjoy or add vocals over instrumentals.

● Write two-three minutes of a video game or movie soundtrack.

● Cover a song in a new way.

● Use technology programs to write music.

● Play a song live for their classmates.

In addition to composing music, students can create videos instructing future music classroom students on concepts that they have learned. They might also create a music classroom newsletter to share learning with a wider audience.

If you have a dream of teaching music to kids, then the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education degree program at Grand Canyon University can help get you into a music classroom.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.