Music Activities 

for  All Ages



Mystery Sound

Pass around a container with something in it or have students turn their backs (close their eyes) as you make sounds with objects such as wind chimes, etc.  Ask students to use adjectives or verbs to describe the sound it makes such as flow, fluid, bold.  What colors does the sound remind you of?  Images it evokes?  What actions do the sound make you think of?

*This can be a prewriting activity for description, a quick lesson in the elements of music, a vocabulary lesson on adjectives, verbs, etc.


Found Sound

Have students bring in objects and place the object in a bag.  Ask for the same information as in the above activity.  Then ask students to guess the object.

Once all objects have been “Played”, ask students to classify the sounds using classifications either students brainstorm or that are the elements of music.

*Students can draw what they think the object is rather than guess what it is.


Rhythm Sticks

Beat out the rhythm of a person’s name.  Then go around the room and make an orchestra of the sounds.

*Students can create a pattern within a small group, and then lend their “voices” to the large group. Can be used in writing Haiku, learning student’s names, creating patterns in math, etc.


Paper Sounds

Using large pieces of butcher paper, have groups of students create the sound of raindrops building up to a full storm, then letting the storm subside as it blows itself out.

Paper can also be used for the following sounds:

        Car revving and taking off

        Airplane taking off

*The clock can be used in this activity having students come in at different points of the second hand, and then dropping off at different points.


Feeling Sounds

As a class, brainstorm feeling words.  Select five and create a sound for each feeling.  Make a symbol for that sound, i.e.

        Solemn        “ommm”       Ÿ

        Pressured       “wahh”       

        Grumpy        “uhrump”     

        Grateful         “ohhh”       

Create a “Symphony” with the sounds and symbols.

*Can be used as a vocabulary lesson (good for ESL), or as a way to describe a character in literature. In vocabulary, put the symbol on one side of a paper and the word on the other.


Sound Movement

Say your name in a different way (i.e. accenting a different syllable(, then create a movement to go with it.  Once each person has presented their name/movement, Go around the circle create a wave.

*Good getting to know activity.


Autobio Poem

Create a regular autobio poem but add sounds and symbols to the poem.

*This can be presented as a “symphony” and/or the sounds/symbols can be add right on to the published piece.


Nine Drawings

Divide a large piece of paper into nine sections (3 x 3) and number the squares 1 trough 9.  Play 9 different pieces of music selecting music from different countries and of different mood.  Students color/draw        whatever comes to mind when the piece is played.  Each piece should be played for only a minute or two and students should move on when the next piece is played.

*Can be a prewriting activity.  Words can be used instead of drawings then students can create poems form the words.  Students can create group collages from their images, etc.



As a small group, students choose an environment.  Brainstorm the sounds from the environment, then create a symphony of that environment layering the sounds.  Write a score for that symphony using symbols for the sounds.

*Good cooperative activity.  Can be a prewriting activity for a description, a story, etc.  Can be used as a story retell activity.


Wind Chimes

Have students bring in found objects and other objects from home to make wind chimes.  Students can describe the sounds they hear.


Making an effort to increase student learning by integrating  music will help children gain meaningful context to their lives.