Teaching the elements of music can be a challenging task, especially when trying to engage your music students and make the learning process enjoyable. However, with the right resources and strategies, you can simplify and unpack this complex subject and create an exciting learning environment for your students.

In this blog post, we will explore five simple and effective lesson ideas to teach the elements of music effectively. To assist you in implementing these strategies, we recommend the Mega Bundle of Listening Activities, which includes all the resources you will need for teaching the elements of music in your classroom for years to come.

Link to the Elements of Music Mega Bundle here


Are you not happy with your music current curriculum? Or you are wanting to change things up for you and your music students? Then make sure to grab the FREE Makeover Your Music Curriculum Guide! Click here to find out more about this free guide.



The Importance of Teaching the Elements of Music

In music, there are many skills we as music teachers need to develop in our students. These include performing, composing, and listening, but underpinning all these skills are the 8 Elements of Music.

Below are 5 reasons why teaching the Elements of Music is important for the development of skills in the young musician –

Foundation of Musical Understanding

Learning the 8 elements of music, such as rhythm, melody, harmony, dynamics, and form, provides a solid foundation for understanding and appreciating music. These elements serve as building blocks that help young musicians comprehend the structure and organization of music, enabling them to interpret and perform pieces with greater depth and nuance.


Improved Musical Communication

Understanding the elements of music allows young musicians to effectively communicate and collaborate with other musicians. When musicians have a common language and understanding of musical concepts, vocabulary and terminology, they can work together more harmoniously, follow directions from conductors or ensemble leaders, and engage in meaningful musical conversations.


Enhances Listening Skills

Studying the elements of music sharpens young musicians’ listening skills. They learn to identify and differentiate various musical components, such as pitch, rhythm, and timbre. This heightened awareness of the elements helps them become more attentive listeners, which in turn enhances their ability to analyze, interpret, and perform music accurately.


Development of Musicality

Understanding the elements of music aids in the development of musicality—the ability to express emotions, convey musical ideas, and evoke responses from listeners. By studying elements like dynamics, phrasing, and articulation, young musicians learn to shape their performances, creating expressive interpretations that connect with audiences on a deeper level.


Versatility and Creativity

A solid understanding of the 8 elements of music empowers young musicians to be versatile and creative in all their musical endeavors. They can experiment with different musical styles, genres, and techniques, and apply their knowledge of the elements to compose their own music or arrange existing pieces. This versatility fosters musical exploration, innovation, and self-expression.

Overall, teaching the elements of music to young musicians is essential for their holistic musical development, enabling them to become well-rounded, expressive, and skilled musicians.


For more information about the benefits of Teaching the Elements of Music, you can read this blog post here


Simplifying the Teaching of Music Elements: 6 Easy Steps to Success

When it comes to teaching the elements of music, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, nor a fixed sequence in which each musical element must be taught. However, drawing from my extensive 20 years of classroom experience, I have discovered that the following teaching order has proven successful in helping my music students truly grasp and comprehend these fundamental elements.

  1. Select an element of music as the focal point.
  2. Introduce the relevant terminology and vocabulary explicitly.
  3. Present real musical examples to allow students to hear or perform the newly taught terminology.
  4. Reinforce the terminology through engaging worksheets and games.
  5. Encourage students to apply the terminology through listening activities.
  6. Offer opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding of the terminology through various formative assessments, such as performing, composing, or analyzing.


To facilitate your teaching of music elements, I have compiled a list of helpful resources below that will benefit both you and your students.


Teaching the Elements of Music Lesson Idea 1- Music Terminology

Mastering the terminology associated with the elements of music is crucial for a well-rounded music education. The Elements of Music Terms are essential resources that will make teaching the element of music easier.

Elements of Music Terms – this versatile resource can be used in a few ways.

If you would like to know more about the 8 Elements of Music, you can read more in this blog post here.


Teaching the Elements of Music Lesson Idea 2- Games & Activities

Another strategy for teaching the Elements of Music with your music classes is to give them a chance to use and apply their knowledge in a fun way. The Elements of Music Memory Cards are perfect for this! There are a couple of fun ways to use these cards, they are listed below:

The Elements of Music Definition worksheets are another way to reinforce the music terminology that you are studying and using in class. These simple worksheets include a variety of activities for each of the 8 elements of music. The activities included are:


Teaching the Elements of Music Lesson Idea 3- Listening Worksheets

The next strategy for teaching the elements of music is to have your students to start to apply their learning through listening activities. The Elements of Music Listening Worksheets provide your students the chance to study any piece of music that you choose, in a focused way through guided listening questions based on the elements of music. In each of the Elements of Music Listening Questions are:


Teaching the Elements of Music Lesson Idea 4- Listening Assessment

The next strategy for teaching the elements of music is to assess your students. You can do this in several ways, but one of the best ways is through a listening assignment. The Music Analysis Projects gradually increase in difficulty and can be used with any piece of music that you or your students select for study and analysis.

Each Music Analysis project builds on the skills from the previous one, but they are also great for differentiation in the music classroom. You will always have some students who require a little support, and you will also have other that might need some extension – this set is designed with this in mind.

For this assessment, you can choose which pages you have your students complete, and you can either choose the music style or genre to be studied or for higher engagement with the assessment let your students choose the music that they want to study (of course with limits on the lyrics in the music!).

If you would like some more Formative Assessment Ideas for the music Classroom, read this blog post here.


Teaching the Elements of Music Lesson Idea 5- Mind Maps

The final strategy for teaching the Elements of Music is to use the Elements of Music Mind maps. This is another versatile resource that can be used in many ways with your music students. Some ways to use the mind maps are listed below:


Teaching the elements of music can be made easier when you follow and use these five simple strategies. By selecting a focal point and introducing the relevant terminology explicitly, students can develop a solid foundation. Real musical examples, reinforced through engaging worksheets and games, provide practical application. Encouraging students to apply their knowledge through listening activities and offering various formative assessments allows them to demonstrate their understanding. To further support your teaching, resources like the Elements of Music Terms, Games & Activities, Listening Worksheets, Listening Assessment, and Mind Maps are available. By implementing these strategies and utilizing the provided resources, you can create an enriching music education experience for your students.


Don’t forget you can grab yourself all the resources, plus a few more not mention here, in the Elements of Music Mega Bundle by clicking the link here.

Until next time

Happy Teaching

Julia from Jooya

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