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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Teacher Tuesday: YouTube channels for elementary music

I find myself showing short videos from YouTube more and more often lately, especially with my upper elementary students. Sometimes there is just no better way to explain a concept, and the students really connect with these well-made, up-to-date videos. So today I thought I would share a few of the YouTube channels that I find myself returning to over and over again. And no, none of them are specifically geared towards children or music education, but they offer excellent teaching tools that students think are cool!

1. Pentatonix

OK, if you haven't heard of Pentatonix by now, where have you been?!? But seriously, they are an amazing tool for the music room because of the variety of music they have performed. I love their version of The Sugar Plum Fairy, which I used in a lesson on arrangements recently, and their original music is great too. I have used them to discuss voice types (soprano/alto/tenor/bass), harmony, pitched vs. unpitched (with the beatboxing), and more. This video is a must-see though:

2. Walk Off the Earth

Walk Off the Earth is great for a lot of the same reasons as Pentatonix- I have used their videos to talk about voice types/parts, harmony, and more, but I love to use them as an example of making arrangements of songs because they often use classroom instruments in their videos, and they do so in such creative ways! They also tend to be "clean" so you can be pretty confident that you won't have to edit anything to show their videos to your kids. And let's not forget the perfect video for showing the different parts of the guitar (depending on age you may want to just show the instrumental)! But here's a great example of their arrangements with classroom instruments (their version of Cheerleader is pretty awesome too):

3. The Gregory Brothers

The Gregory Brothers are my secret ingredient for getting students to understand major and minor. They have tons of videos where they have taken popular songs and changed the tonality, but this "sampler" video will give you a good idea of what they can do:

There are plenty more wonderful resources out there on YouTube, but those are some of my favorites. What are your favorite YouTube channels for elementary music lessons? Share yours in the comments below!


  1. I absolutely loved this blog post. I have to admit--I hadn't listened to any of these groups-YIKES! And they are now my the links and how you used them to teach. Thank you for sharing this post.

    1. Haha, well I am happy to welcome you to my wonderful YouTube world then! :) I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks they are cool- I hope your students enjoy them as much as mine do!

  2. Nice blog posts with good ideas. Hmm...I wonder if you should do a series for youtube channels for middle and high school as well!? I know I would love it!

    1. Great suggestion! I don't know, I haven't taught middle or high school for quite some time (unless you count my 6th graders, who wish they were middle schoolers) so I'm probably not the best person to speak on that. Maybe something you could consider?!? :)