music lesson plans for ks3


Music Lesson Plans KS3


music lesson plans ks3

Music Lesson Plans at ks3

"Little and Often" Twenty minutes per week of music theory (supported by handouts, worksheets and a progress tracking system) can easily get your ks3 students (way past!) where they need to be with regard to music theory

The one click music teaching resources download that this website is built around features Twelve Music Learning Packs (suitable for ks3) that contain handouts (explaining the principles involved) as well as worksheets designed to instill theoretical knowledge and capability into music students. There is also a free tracking system that you can download further down this page that will allow you to keep track of (and prove) what stage your students are at and what they have learned

Can they count to twelve and do they know the alphabet as far as G?

If our students can answer "yes" to the two questions posed in the graphic at the top of this page then they already have the tools that they need in order to understand the harmonic and melodic elements of all (Western) music theory

They may not be able to play an instrument (yet) or understant notation(yet) but they are "ready to go" in terms of learning how music works

music lesson plans suitable for ks3

Download a 25 page PDF of FREE Music Lesson Plans

music lesson plans for ks3 students

Above you can see a page from the free lesson plans that you can download with a single click. I dont want you to fill anything in so that I can use your details as the basis of a marketing campaign. I hate that and I presume that you do too? Anything labelled as "free" on this site is exactly that. Download it and use it if you think it will be useful

KS3 Music lesson Plans

Heres a "mission statement"

"By the time they leave key stage 3 ALL of my students will completely understand scales, chords and keys!"

I fully understand that this seems like a tall order and is way beyond the requirements of what we traditionally think of when we look at this area but please bear with me for a while

While by the end of ks3 it is perfectly possible to have absolutely all of your students understanding note names, scales, chords and keys there are also some things they will not ALL be able to do...

They will not necessarily be able to play a musical instrument

They won't necessarily be able to play a musical instrument for the full list of "obvious" reasons

They may not want to. Strange as it is for us to understand but some people just dont really like music enough to want to play it. That's fine.

On the other hand.......they may think that music is beyond them and that it is pointless to start playing because they are "not good enough" to learn to play so they might as well just save themselves the bother of trying. This is tragic but if you have been teaching for long enough (ie not very long) you will have run into this situation more times than it is healthy to think about. Of course they dont self identify by saying things like "my self worth is so low that I have decided to disengage with this subject before I even start to study it because bitter experience has already told me that I will fail" but sadly as young as they are this has often been their experience. This type of student normally presents as distracted (or distracting) disruptive and "bored" with a whole bunch of "catchphrases" along the lives of "this is rubbish", "what good will knowing this do me" and "I dont get it"

One of the best feelings you can have as a teacher (in my experience anyway) is when you get these kids to engage and help them to see that they can make progress

They may be come inspired to try playing "seriously" during ks3

They may not yet have picked a musical instrument up but could be inspired to because they start to understand how music works and begin to believe as a result that they could become a musician. They are young. I have (and still wear Im afraid) T shirts older than some of the people that I teach and as music teachers we are in the "inspiring" business. Its what we do if for no other reason than the more folks who are inspired to take up music "seriously" during ks3 the more music students we will have at ks4.

I dont want to kill the mood by invoking what, depending on your perspective or experience are either the pen-pushing bean counters or the wonderfully dedicated professional administrators who strive to make our lives easier because they like us but nothing impresses those folks like hordes of students signing up for something that they could get out of (ks4). Bigger budgets, more students studying to a higher level, a thriving Music department and (lets be honest, maybe) the prospect of using the evidence of your success to get a better job in a school where you can be blissfully unreachable to the folks who currently rain on your educational parade

They will not necessarily be able to read music

Notated music is a wonderful thing but it has nothing to do with the fact that music works (thats down to physics and culture but we have not got time to go into it here). The development of systems of musical notation have had an absolutely huge impact on the stylistic evolution of the art form but folks were making music long before notation was dreamed up and there are a whole load of vital and important musical genres that have developed without being in any significant way dependant upon notated music

Understanding notation is a useful (or rather vital) skill to have if you are playing an instrument that requires it but you do not need to read music to understand how scales, chords and keys work

Our music students are individuals and are all at a different point in their "musical journey" when they start to study ks3 (whatever that is?) with us.

music lesson plans aimed at ks3 students

The Student Learning Tracker System In Use

Above you can see an image of the tracker and hopefully you should be able to see just how simple (and foolproof!) it is to use. Each of the skills and capabilities required or desired from our students is listed and the completed worksheets give us evidence of progress to date. The tracker also comes with a "diagnostic" document that I get my students ti complete during a very first music theory session which allows me (and them and the administrators who always seem to require "evidence" of stuff before they leave us alone to get on with our jobs) to see how far there is to go from the outset of a course

The "problem" with ks3 Music

A situation that we face on a daily basis is that there is no such thing as a "typical" music student Some of our learners are primarily "pop" musicians and can come to us with a huge amount of skill and enthusiasm but sometimes with an inbuilt "resistance" to what they perceive to be the "rules" of music.

Unless handled carefully and introduced to the "options" (rather than the rules) offered by a study of music theory then they can come to regard music theory as an obstacle to be overcome rather than a tool to be used.

Other students come from the other end of the spectrum. They were exposed to formal musical education from an early age and have considerable experience of reading sheet music. They have a history of playing traditional instruments and are familiar with notation. The problem that these students can face are often that they are uncomfortable with improvisation.

Add to those two extremes a significant number of students who are only there because they have to be and who have no particular agenda with relation to the study (or not) of music and who are engaged in the (regrettable) process of having education "done to them" as opposed to going through a process in which they are keen to engage and the task facing the modern music teacher can seem terrifying

The challenge of devising Music Lesson Plans at ks3

How do we keep the more knowledgable and experienced students challenged and engaged?

How do we enthuse and offer a "way in" to the study of music to those students who have (or could be encouraged to develop) enthusiasm but who have little in the way of "formal" musical education?

How can we prevent those who have little or no enthusiasm for the subject from distracting other students who will then get less out of the classroom experience than they should?

Three separate groups of students with particular and distinct musical strengths and weaknesses that need to be addressed. The problem facing educators is that we need to teach them in the same room at the same time.

The problem is that in terms of developing a frame of reference with regard to how music works all students are at (often wildly) different stages

The solution is to end up in a place where they have a set of common skills and experiences. If they are all able to name notes, construct scales and understand chords and keys then anything else (such as the ability to play an instrument or read notated music) becomes the "icing on the cake"

Below you can see an infographic which describes how a music teacher might use our materials to take students working at music key stage three from a point where they have no functional "joined up" understanding of the scales and chords relevant to this level to a place where they "Get It!"

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It's not just about key signatures worksheets, we cover an awful lot of ground here.

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In the (rare) event that something should go wrong with the order/download process just email me at robh@teachwombat.com
I will check the order and send you the links that will get you to your stuff.

Cheers! Rob!