Adding Cars to the Musical Train of Thought

This list was inspired by reading 100 Ways to Improve Teaching Using Your Voice & Music By Don G. Campbell, conversations during my Methods of Teaching Music class with Donna Axton, and ideas that teachers have shared.

Take second helpings of food for thought. Try these ideas more than once if you like.

  1. First, an idea not to use. Don’t do "The Name Game" song for a student named Chuck.
  2. “Six Baby”, an idea with an original version of the song that you might not want to play at school  (To the tune “Let’s Talk About Sex” by Salt N Pepa)

Let’s talk about 6 baby

Let’s talk about 3 plus 3

Let’s talk about 5 plus 1, 4 minus 2, and 2 times 3

Let’s talk about 6

Baby, let’s talk about 6

Baby, Multiples of 6

6, 12, 18, 24, 30

36, 42, 48, 54 and 60

Multiples of 6

Baby, let’s talk about 6

  1. “Onomatopoeia” by Todd Rundgren from the album Hermit of Mink Hollow to teach onomatopoeia in language arts.
  2. “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets and “Time is On My Side” by the Rolling Stones to teach time in math.
  3. Sing “That’s the Way I Line Up” (To the tune “That’s the Way (I Like It)” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band)

That’s the way uh-huh, uh-huh, I line up, uh-huh, uh-huh

That’s the way uh-huh, uh-huh, I line up, uh-huh, uh-huh

  1. Sing happy homework songs – “Happy Homework to You” to the “Happy Birthday to You” tune. “Happy, Happy Homework” to the tune of “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” and/or “Homework Makes You Happy” to the Hooters commercial theme song, “Hooters Makes You Happy”
  2. Draw to music. Have students listen to instrumental music and draw what they see when they hear the music.
  3. Mozart music from the Don Campbell CD compilations in background during class time
  4. If you ever get a chance to hear the Reverend Dr. Michael James Oleksa speak, please listen. He has wonderful things to say about the music of different languages and cultures. I had to travel to Alaska to hear him speak. It was well worth the long plane flight.
  5. Sing songs and display the lyrics to help in teaching English (as a second language or even as a first language)
  6. Have students write song lyrics for a poetry assignment. Let them sing their poems. It is great to feel them tapping their feet when they read poetry.
  7. Hum while working
  8. Clap a call and response rhythm to get students' attention.
  9. “Why Does the Sun Shine?” by They Might Be Giants to teach about the Sun in science.
  10. Use musical notes to help teach fractions
  11. Sing “Get Down and Write” (to the tune of “Get Down Tonight” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band)

Get a paper

Take a pen

Get down and write

Get down and write

  1. Listen to “Weird Al” Yankovic
  2. Listen to and/or watch School House Rock music and computer CDs
  3. Watch the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus to get inspired. Though not particularly related to music, watch October Sky for further inspiration.
  4. Email me with ideas to add to this list.
  5. Your shared idea(s) here.

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