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Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Elementary Music Lesson Warmup Activities

I've been using student-led warmups at the beginning of my elementary general music lessons for years now and I am a big fan! I've gotten a lot of questions about the warmups I do and how I do them, and over the last few weeks I've been sharing my favorite activities for lesson warmups in my K-6 general music classes (26 in all!) that focus on important musical skills and concepts. In this post I've compiled all of my posts on how I set up and manage the student-led warmups in general, all of the different activity ideas, and the visuals I use to run them.

First of all, my warmup activities start as soon as students start coming into the room- it's more like a "do now" where I don't wait for the class to all be seated before I start. Once I get it going, I hand it off to the small group of students assigned to lead warmups (the job rotates throughout the year) and they take over, giving me time to finish setting up, pull aside a student who needs a checkin, etc while the others are engaged in the activity. Here's the full post on how I run my warmups:

Besides the benefits from a management perspective, I've found the warmups very helpful for student learning because it gives me an easy way to quickly touch on those skills and concepts that need regular "drilling" for students to attain and maintain fluency, especially steady beat, rhythm, pitch, reading notation, and music vocabulary. In each of the posts below you'll find 4 or 5 different activities I use with different grades to practice these fundamental skills and concepts in quick and easy (and fun!) ways:



All of these can truly be done without any special slides or equipment, but I got several request to share the slides I use- for those who want something ready-made at your fingertips to implement all of the different warmups mentioned above, here they are:

If you haven't tried using warmup activities at the beginning of your elementary music classes, I highly recommend trying them out! It took me a long time to be convinced I should do it, but I have been hooked ever since I started. If you have more ideas for activities, or questions about anything, please leave a comment below.

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