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Music Educators Toolbox

This set of free online resources for music teachers includes lesson plans and activities, summative and formative assessments, video examples, and documented best practices. Designed to be effective and adaptable in a wide variety of music classrooms, the resources were developed through Carnegie Hall’s five-year residency in a New York City elementary/middle school.

The toolbox currently features grade-specific music education resources that address fundamentals of rhythm and meter, form and design, expressive qualities, pitch, and performing.

Browse Activities by Grade


Exploring Long and Short Rhythmic Patterns (rhythm)
Exploring Steady Beat with Percussion Instruments (meter)
Call and Response Songs (singing, form)
Musical Patterns (form)
Musical Expression Through Movement (dynamics, tempo, articulation)
Telling a Story with Music (pitch, form)
Moving Melodies (pitch)
Performing and Arranging Using Our Voices (performing)
Exploring the Sounds Around Us (form, dynamics, articulation)

Grade 1

Performing and Composing Four Beat Patterns (rhythm and meter)
Seat on the Beat (rhythm and meter)
Melodic Phrases (form)
Dynamics Hide and Seek (dynamics, performing)
Feeling the Tempo (tempo)
Exploring Expressive Qualities (dynamics, tempo, articulation)
Melodic Contour (pitch, performing)
Improvising with Our Voices (performing)

Grade 2

Composing in Common Time (rhythm and meter)
Around the Room Mystery (form)
Classroom Thunderstorm (tempo, dynamics, articulation)
Style and Genre (tempo, dynamics, articulation)
Staff Hopscotch (pitch)
Using Our Voices to Improvise (performing, pitch)

Grade 3

Composing in Simple and Compound Meters (form)
Goldilocks Sings (performing)
Musical Mapping (form)
Staff Hopscotch (pitch)
The Language of Rhythm (rhythm of meter)
Comparing Different Versions of a Known Song (dynamics, tempo, articulation)

Grade 4

Composing a Melody (rhythm and meter, pitch)
Exploring String Techniques (articulation, performing)
Listening for Contrasts in Genre (tempo, dynamics, articulation)
Musical Tension and Release (tempo)
Quartet Chief (performing, form)
Identifying Accents in Music (articulation)

Grade 5

Exploring Historical and Cultural Connections to the Guitar (articulation, dynamics, tempo)
Improvising with Brazilian Samba (rhythm and meter)
Rhythms from Around the World (rhythm and meter, performing)
Theme and Variation (form)
We’ve Got the Blues (pitch)

Additional Resources

Teacher Newsletter

The Music Educators Toolbox was developed in partnership with PS/MS 161 in upper Manhattan. Major funding in support of this partnership was provided by The Irene Diamond Fund. Additional support was provided by the Lanie & Ethel Foundation.

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