Digital Music Learning

Music Basics Review for Parents:  Hi Parents!  If you need a quick review of note reading, check out Khan Academy.  They have several mini-lessons and videos you can explore with your child.

Link provided by Director of Elementary Music for District Six, Vicki Bishop, Music Teacher at Anderson Mill Elementary


All Elementary Schools in our District subscribe to Quaver Online Music Curriculum, special thanks to Dr. Sharon Doyle, Music Teacher at Woodland Heights Elementary, for writing the steps below to access the student interactive games and exercises.


1. We use Quaver Music in our curriculum here at school and it has an at-home component for all ages.  Everyone has access if you have a cell phone to the website.


  • Go to:  Google and type in
  • You will get a screen that looks like this in the upper right hand corner:

  • Select Student Interactives (The yellow box)
  • You will get a screen like this:

  • Enter: RLX8A
  • Kindergarten: Select from Music Theory and Playing Instruments
  • First Grade:  Select from Music Theory and Movement
  • Second Grade: Select from Music Theory and Instruments
  • Third Grade:  Select from Music Theory and Instruments
  • Fourth Grade: Select from Music Theory, Creation, and Instruments
  • Fifth Grades:  Select from Music Theory and the QuaverBooks


  • Explore the other areas on your own.
  • Visions – The recorder section will keep you working on your recorder with new exercises.
  • If there is a concern contact:  [email protected]
  • Between 7:30 and 2:30 daily
2. Listening Activity, shared by Woodland Heights Music Teacher Dr. Sharon Doyle
All you need:
A balloon (not inflated) or scarf or a small ball
Here is a link to some Native American Flute music – it is calming and relaxing and has no words or lyrics to distract.
While the music is playing:
Give everyone the signal for no talking
Gesture for all to sit quietly with a reasonable distance between you
If using the balloon, slowly blow up the balloon and tie it off as the children are watching.
Gently and still very quietly, pass the balloon, ball, or scarf to one another.
Allow the balloon to travel from person to person or back and forth to one another.
Once you have done this and the balloon has returned to you, gesture for all to take a deep breath and simply sit and listen. You can repeat the activity multiple times.
See if you can be successful in a 30 second, 60 second, 90 second round of silent play/listening. You will be amazed at the newly relaxed feeling you all will have and the appreciation of even a few moment of peace and quiet in your home.

Music Websites for Kids from Ms. Kelly Moore, Fairforest Elementary Music Teacher

These are free websites that connect kids with educational music games, note reading, rhythm reading, learning about instruments, getting to know composers, and creating music.

classics for kids



pbs kids


NY Philharmonic Kidzone



Dallas Symphony Orchestra


Mrs. Sutton’s (West View's Music Teacher's) Fun Ways to Enjoy Music at Home                   



Sound forest

Garage band

Voice record pro

Tap Tap Beats Music Game

Kidloland Kids ABC Games Songs

123 Kids Fun MUSIC Free Top Music Games for Kids


Provided by Alison Meyer, Facebook Music Educators Creating Online Learning, shared by Fairforest Elementary Music Teacher Kelly Moore
Music Scavenger Hunt for Grades K-2
There’s music all around us! Look around your home to see what you can find to demonstrate our music concepts. Be sure to ask an adult before playing any of your new instruments. E-mail your music teacher a list or a picture of what you find!
Find something that…
1. Makes a HIGH sound
2. Makes a LOW sound
3. Makes LOUD sounds
4. Makes SOFT sounds
5. Moves FAST
6. Moves SLOW
7. You can SHAKE to make a sound
8. You can SCRAPE or RUB to make a sound
9. You can tap that is made out of METAL
10. You can tap that is made out of WOOD
BONUS: Make up a song using a ‘found instrument’ from your house.

Connecting English/Language Arts to Music: Read Aloud Activity with the book Because  by Mo Willems, shared by Kelly Moore, Music Teacher, Fairforest Elementary


After listening to the story and learning about how Mr. Willems came to create the story, make a list of at least 5 events or people that helped the girl in the story to find her love of music. Write about how music changed the girl.


Interview a family member (or write about your own skill/talent) and ask them, "What is one thing you are good at?", "How did you discover your talent/skill?", "How did you get better at your skill?"


The story behind the story of Because  by Mo Willems


Read aloud of "Because"

  1. Listen to different styles of music (for example:  country, hip hop, rock and roll) and move expressively to each style.
  2. Play patterns of long and short sounds on pots, pans, or blow into empty paper towel rolls.  Perform for your family.
  3. Write a rhythm that has four or eight beats and practice reading it.
  4. Practice singing your favorite song as a family, and create movements to go along with the lyrics.
  5. Record the video of one of these activities in steps 1-4 on your phone, and email it to your child's music teacher!!!
  6. Parents, talk to your child about why you chose specific songs for your playlists on your phones.  Talk to them about why you like certain performers and their songs.
There is nothing more fun than curling up with a good book and reading with your child!  One idea is to take children's books you have at home and combine instruments or sound sources along with the story.  For example, you could read a book such as The Little Engine That Could.   After reading it with your child and talking about the book's meaning, never giving up, you could tell your child to read it again and use sound effects.  Two flip flops being rubbed together could be the sound of the train.  You could use pots and pans to represent the sounds of the big engines in the train yard.  With upper elementary students, who may play an instrument in 5th grade band or strings, (or might be thinking of playing one in 3rd or 4th grade), you could read books about instruments, such as Zin Zin Zin a Violin or The Remarkable Farkle McBride.  For example, as Farkle learns about the different instruments in the orchestra, you could have your child make a "flute" out of a paper towel roll, or hit a bucket to make a "drum" sound. 
If you are interested in more read aloud books about music, see below:
Here are two links: one for primary and one for upper elementary students.  There are fictional books, biographies about composers, as well as books about different musical styles!   
A fun activity for you to do with your child is to draw what you hear.  Pick a favorite song, usually an instrumental piece, either jazz or classical in style, and listen to the piece.  Ask your child what they thought about as they listened, share what you thought about the music also.  Then distribute paper, pencil, crayons, markers, and/or paint and listen again.  You and your child draw what you hear.  You will probably need to listen to it several times.  It is a great way to connect with your child as you enjoy music together.  One vocal selection that works well is Louis Armstrong's song, "What a Wonderful World."  Movie soundtracks are also fun, such as Star Wars or Pirates of the Caribbean.  (Contributed by Mrs. Bishop, Music Teacher, Anderson Mill.)
I Did It - You Do It: Paint While You Listen
What are Piggy Back Songs?  Take a song that you know, like "Happy Birthday," and write new lyrics for the song.  It is an easy and fun way to compose songs.  For example, since spring is here, you could substitute just a few words from the original lyrics for PreK-2nd graders, so young children feel immediately successful.  You could write, "Happy bumblebees buzz here, happy bumblebees buzz here, bumblebees and lovely flowers, happy bumblebees buzz here."  For 3rd graders you could  rewrite all the lyrics to make it more interesting, "Sunny days and warm wind, bumblebees and butterflies, enjoy playing outside, sunny days and warm wind."  4th and 5th graders might enjoy taking  Kidzbop song and writing new lyrics.  For example, take the Kidzbop arrangement of Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling." You could change the lyrics to describe Easter/Spring candies...
"I got those jellybeans in my basket
Got that chocolate bunny box
I feel that springing in my step when I bunny hop, ooh
I can't take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally
Room on hop, the way we rock it, so don't stop...."
Piggy back songs
Need more examples, check out this:
Country Bunny
Bunny Music Lesson-Pre K-2nd grade-Read Aloud with Sound Effects and Bunny song, contributed by Mrs. Vicki Bishop, Music Teacher, Anderson Mill
The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, a book by DuBose Heyward
This book is a favorite of Mrs. Bishop's, growing up her mother would read it to her every Easter.  The book tells the story of a Country Bunny who delivers a special egg to a sick little boy on Easter, a sweet tale about the importance of giving to others and sacrifice.  There are many fun characters, including her twenty-one baby bunnies, Grandfather Bunny, and also wonderful pictures and settings, including the Palace of the Easter Eggs.  You will love the illustrated pastel pictures by Marjorie Hack.  You could do this activity over two days.
1. Read the story out loud.  Talk about how the country bunny sacrificed her time and traveled a long way to deliver an Easter egg to a sick little boy.
2. The next day, talk about the main characters (bunnies who make fun of the country bunny, her baby bunnies, grandfather bunny, etc.) Assign a sound for each character and read the story again with sound effects: 
pots and pans              egg shakers                    rubbing flip flops together
  • Tap on pots and pans when you read about the baby bunnies who cook and wash dishes
  • Rub flip flops or slippers together -bunnies who sweep and make beds
  • Fill plastic Easter eggs with uncooked rice or beans and shake them as the baby bunnies hop around
  • Body movement and percussion: bow for the baby bunny who holds out a chair for his mother; stomp in place as the country bunny stomps through the snow to the little boy's house on the mountain; clap when the bunnies clap for grandfather bunny; smack or tap the floor when the country bunny falls down the mountain and crashes into the apple tree.
  • At the end, play all the sounds together for a finale.
3.  You could include the story with a Piggyback song.  "The Easter Bunny Came to Town," sung to the tune of "Yankee Doodle."  Here are the lyrics:
"The Easter Bunny came to town with a basket full of eggs,
He wiggled his nose and tapped his toes and stretched his little legs. 
Easter Bunny hop around, 
Easter Bunny touch the ground,
Easter Bunny turn like this and blow a great big kiss!"
Lyrics from New Words Old Tunes, by Rita Shotwell
If you have a smartphone, chances are recording apps are available for download.  Here's a fun way to use your phones to record sounds in nature!
  • Walk outside your apartment or home.
  • Look for rocks, sticks, bark, leaves, etc.  Record your child tapping rocks together, scraping bark, crinkling leaves, tapping sticks, etc, on a voice memos or voice recorder app.  Usually the icon in the app store looks similar to this:   
        voice memo
  • If you live near trees, listen for bird calls, record them if you can.
  • Have another family member try to guess what the sounds are.
  • Tell your child to listen to their favorite quiet, calm song on the radio, a streaming service or iTunes.
  • Have your child choose two or three of their favorite nature sounds and "play" them while they listen to the song, playing softly along with the music.
  • They could complete the activity by drawing a "sound map," drawing the sounds they played during the song.  For example, draw trees or sticks if they tapped sticks together for the first part of the song.  Draw patterns of rocks, leaves, if they "played" them at the end of the song.  Older students might enjoy making a connection to art.  They could study the artwork of artists who focused on scenes in nature, such as Monet.  You could also talk about the calming feeling after looking at Monet's Lily Pond paintings.  
lily pond
  • You could extend the activity by going outside at nighttime and listening to the different calming sounds one hears in the evening.  On a clear night you could listen to Debussy's Claire de Lune piano piece and discuss the calm feeling in the music while looking at the moon, which was the subject of Debussy's piece.  Monet and Debussy were both impressionists.  They focused more on conveying a mood than on very detailed tone pictures.
  • This activity reminds children there are calming sounds all around us!
                                          kids playing with rocks  
boy hiking
Great activities!  crosswords, recorder songs, music history, composer biographies, practice logs, for elementary, middle and high school students!
Music Together
Music Together is a comprehensive research-based curriculum for Pre-Kindergarten students.  The app is free and there are some free songs your little ones will enjoy singing.  Go to either the App Store or Google Play and type in "Hello Everybody" or "Music Together." Here are some free song examples:

"This Train"
Music can be a fun way to help your child transition from one activity to the next throughout the day. Try making up verses for different activities and tasks that you and your child might do throughout the day and sing them to the melody of "This Train." Replace "children" with your child's name when singing "children get on board." For example:

This train is cleaning up... Charlotte get on board.
This train is bound for bed... Zion get on board.

"All Around the Kitchen"
It's fun to sing this song while you and your child cook in the kitchen. You can also make up your own variations together about the foods you like and how you cook and eat them. It's great if the verses rhyme, but the most important thing is to have fun inventing the words. For example:

Soup, soup, put it in the pot,
warm it up, warm it up, eat it while it's hot!

Bagel, bagel, put it in the toaster,
warm it, toast it, eat it with some jelly!

Ice cream, ice cream, put it in my tummy,
I like (flavor), yummy, yummy, yummy!
This is a great website featuring symphony orchestra performances from all over the nation, including our very own Spartanburg Philharmonic!  Your children will enjoy listening along with you to wonderful classical music!  A couple of pointers:
1. While listening, encourage children to be quiet. 
2  Keep it short.  A three or four minute sample is usually long enough.
3. Afterward, you ask children:
  • What instruments did you hear?
  • Was the music soft or loud? Fast or slow?
  • What did the music make you feel like?  Happy, sad, angry, joyful?
Enjoy a stay - at - home concert with your children!!
Also here is a link for the Spartanburg Philharmonic  "Together Spartanburg" Series, Musical Families Episode!  Lots of musical families in Spartanburg, making music together!  
Spartanburg Symphony
Here is the link to the SC Arts in Basic Curriculum Project's Artful Fridays!  Lots of fun zoom lessons in creative writing, music, dance, drama and art!  Your kids will have a blast!!!
ABC logo