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The Ultimate Adaptable Music Workshop

This set of plans includes all the bits and pieces you need to put together a music workshop for any age or level of students, including mixed groups. It has been designed with students aged 5–13 in mind but it can be used for students outside this range at the teacher’s discretion.

Workshop Components

There are various different components in this set of plans that you will use to create your workshop in a pick and mix style.

  • Singtermissions: songs with actions which progress into a game
  • Rhythm Recesses: chants with actions which progress into a game
  • Play with Practice: a great way to train your students in new practice strategies they can use at home
  • Perform for Peers: an opportunity to play for the other students with a structure that helps them develop active listening skills
  • Build a Band: an interactive group improvisation activity
  • Games Galore: explains itself!

Workshop Structure

No matter what your length of workshop, you should choose just one Singtermission or Rhythm Recess out of the 10 available. You will come back to this again and again throughout your workshop to break up the other activities and expand the singing/chanting game.

You should choose one of the other activities for every 30 minutes of workshop time. For example, if you are hosting a 60-minute workshop choose 2 activities out of these modules: Play with Practice, Perform for Peers, Build a Band and Games Galore.

There is a page in the downloadable workshop booklet where you can map out your workshop plan. Just print a new copy of this page each time you’re planning to host a new workshop.

General group lesson tips

Plan more.

Always a back up activity just in case something doesn’t go the way you planned. Sometimes activities simply don’t land with a group, and sometimes they get it so quickly that you need to move on!

Don’t force it.

If one kid doesn’t want to do a particular activity, don’t force the issue. Encourage them gently to give it a go but then just let them observe until they’re ready to join in. They will still learn by observing the others.

Announce, don’t ask.

Practise removing all the polite and fluffy language from your instructions. Instead of, “How about we sing a song next?” just say, “Sing with me!” or “Listen to my song!” and launch right in.

Be prepared.

Above all else in group workshops, you need to know your content. Don’t rely on checking notes or instructions. Review your plan until just a single word will remind you what’s next so that you can move swiftly and confidently between activities.