Teaching what is a melody in music definition doesn’t need to be a complicated process. Sometimes, the simplest lesson can make the biggest difference when you are trying to help your students learn what is a melody in music definition.

When your students know their melody terms and can hear the use of the terms in the music they listen to or perform, then they become better musicians. In traditional Western European music culture, the music is built around the melody. The melody is the main part of the music that every other Element of Music supports and helps to make it the centrepiece.

If you would like to know more about the Elements of Music melody definitions, then be sure to read this blog post where all the important melody terms, and melody in music definitions are explained in detail. Click the link here to read more about What is Melody in Music.


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Learning Melody Words the Simple Way

One of the best ways that you can help your music students learn what are the melody in music definitions, is to use the Reading Strategy of Monitoring in your music lessons.

Link to the Monitoring Graphic Organizers here.


The reading comprehension strategy of Monitoring is meant to help students learn and understand the text that they are reading.



As you know, a good musician is also someone who can “read” the musical text. This could be the musical score, watching and observing a musical performance, or even listening to a recording of a piece of music.

Several years ago, the school I taught at had a big “literacy blitz”. As you know, being a music classroom educator, there are often school wide targets that you are meant to be a part of. This is often difficult because the resources just don’t exist that mean that you can apply the strategies and targets in your music classroom!

Honestly, that is why and how I got myself into creating resources for Teachers Pay Teachers, because I was expected to teach using the Super Six Reading Strategies, but guess what? Those resources were not easy to find, in fact, they did not exist! So, I did my research, and applied the research so that it could be used in the music classroom! That is how Jooya Teaching Resources got started – thanks to a school wide Literacy Blitz in 2012.

Even though I no longer teach at that school, I found that there was a lot of merit to using the strategies in my music classroom, even until this day. The Elements of Music, and all the specific music terminology associated with it, is like learning another language, and this can be overwhelming for both teachers and students. Read below to find out how you can use and apply a simple Monitoring strategy in your own classroom to help your students learn what is the melody in music definition.



What is a Melody in Music Definition Lesson Resources

The Monitoring Graphic Organizer that is explained in this lesson, is a simple one that can be used with ANY music terminology you are studying – not just for Melody Terms!


There is no need to print out a separate graphic organizer page for each student, and each term! That would be a lot of paper, and a lot of copying – and you probably have a small budget that you need to keep an eye on!

Instead of printing out the page, try displaying it on your board, OR just print ONE copy of the page for each student, and have them glue it on and refer to what they need to do in their own books.



Encourage your students to be creative when completing this activity. The more creative they are, the more likely they are to remember the melody definitions and melody terms that they are learning about in the lesson.



Play some nice calming music in the background while your music class is working on their melody music term definitions. Once you have the lesson started and the students are working, you won’t need to be helping them too much, they should be independently working!


Resources You Will Need

  1. Monitoring Graphic Organizers – link here for the resource
  2. Display of the Word, Definition, Synonym, Antonym, Image Graphic Organizer, click the link here to get your own copy
  3. Option 1 for Music Terms – these you could choose to display around the room, display on the board so you can all work together OR display around the room for a Write the Room activity. Link here to the Melody Elements of Music Terms
  4. Option 2 for Music Terms – have a set of the Melody Terms Music Memory Game cards printed and laminated for the students to work either independently or in small groups on the melody terms and melody definitions. Link to the Melody Terms Music Memory Game Cards here.



Elements of Music Melody Definition Lesson

This has to be one of my favourite lessons! Once the class is set up to complete the activity, it will free you up to catch up on other duties that you always have to do – grading, planning, preparing and, if you need it, relaxing!

If you would like to watch a video where I explain this lesson strategy, watch the YouTube Video below.




Lesson Steps

  1. Hand out the term cards or display the melody terms that the students will be studying during the lesson
  2. Hand out the Word, Definition, Synonym, Antonym Image worksheets OR display this on the board for students to reference and complete into their music class books
  3. Demonstrate and model how to complete the activity as a class
  4. Students work through each term and complete the activity as many times as there are melody definition terms to learn
  5. Tip – put on some music and enjoy the lesson


Word, Definition, Synonym, Antonym and Image Lesson Steps

  1. Display the melody term to be studied OR have the melody term cards accessible for all students to use and exchange as they complete each melody in music definition.
  2. Discuss the meaning of the terms, and check for student understanding of what is melody in music definition
  3. Discuss what is a synonym and an antonym, and what this could possibly mean in music
  4. Students write or copy down the melody in music definition
  5. Students research the synonym and antonym of the melody in music terms
  6. Students draw an image to help them remember what the term means – the more creative and colorful the better here!
  7. Repeat these steps for each melody in music term that you want your music class to know
  8. TIP – have your students work in pairs or small groups and ask them to discuss their synonyms and antonyms for each term, just to check that they completely understand the term and what it means.


Benefits of Explicitly Teaching Music Terminology

As a music teacher, you would be aware that explicit teaching of the skills that a student needs to learn an instrument is vital to their success and progress as a musician.

Explicitly teaching music vocabulary and music terminology is also beneficial for students to grow as a musician. Students who understand and can apply the music terminology that they learn to their own performances, develop their skills in other areas of their musical development. When a music student can perform a certain “technique”, they become aware of it, and are then able to add it to their own performance repertoire, their compositions and even be able to identify it aurally in the music that they enjoy listening or studying.

Until next time

Happy listening and teaching

Julia from Jooya

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