15 Free and Awesome Online Activities for Unforgettable Music Lessons

Music teachers are often frustrated because they cannot translate their passion for music into engaging, fun, and meaningful activities for their students. Reading notes, identifying rhythms and different musical instruments in a musical arrangement, and even teaching music theory in a fun way is possible if music teachers have a digital music teaching toolbox with the right elements that will blow their students’ minds and make their music lessons unforgettable.

In this blog post, we present several ready-to-use activities for music teachers, ranging from simple but fun music instrument games to interactive worksheets and quizzes and awesome music apps that will make you wish you had learned music with them yourself when you were a kid. We also offer an idea on how to use artificial intelligence in your music lesson and some valuable digital resources for music teachers.

This blog post is structured in different categories so music teachers can easily find the music education resources that better suit their needs.

Want to use these free music activities?

Here’s how: ⬇️

Many music lesson plans listed here were created with BookWidgets. They can be duplicated and are ready to use in your classroom, for free by making a copy of the activities in your BookWidgets account or by navigating the Music Group folder. New to BookWidgets? BookWidgets is a content creation and evaluation tool for teachers. With BookWidgets, teachers can create endless interactive activities and auto-graded assignments using 40 unique activity types and over 35 different question types. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try yourself and create your first digital music activity.

Are you ready to rock? 🎸

Basic level music activities🪇

The suggested basic-level music activities are not exclusive to elementary school students. Older learners starting to have contact with the world of music will also learn and have fun with these activities.

1.Introduction to the orchestra

This basic lesson plan for teaching music is a great way to awaken students’ interest in the marvelous world of the orchestra. Start by showing them a video of an orchestra performance of a song they all know. This video is an example of an orchestra theme for young learners perfect for teaching music in elementary school.

I chose a popular Disney theme that will give your students the chills. Make sure several different instruments are shown on the video you choose. After having left your students astonished by the power of an orchestra, it’s time to introduce some basic orchestra instrument vocabulary by giving them a pair-matching game.

With BookWidgets, you can also adapt this activity so that instead of reading the words and matching them with the corresponding pictures, you can record yourself saying the name of the instrument. Or, for aural sensibilization, you can upload a piece of audio with an example of each instrument. By doing so, they will have to match the audio pieces with the corresponding pictures of each instrument, making this digital music game even more fun.

Pair matching - orchestra

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2. Instrument families

This online music quiz to teach musical instruments will help your students understand the correlation between different instruments. Start this musical instruments lesson plan by asking your students to brainstorm the names of different musical instruments orally as you write them down on the whiteboard. Next, go through each one, asking students to take turns trying to reproduce each instrument’s sound. Finally, divide your class into groups and give them this instrument families quiz, in which they will see pictures of several different instruments and have to put them into different categories.

After correcting, ask your students which instrument(s) they would be interested in playing and, if you have them at your disposal, encourage them to try other instruments of the same family or even explore at least one instrument of each family throughout the year.

quiz-instrument families

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3. Music bingo

This fun music bingo will test your elementary school students’ ears. Each student receives a digital bingo card and need to click on the name of the theme song that you perform (for instance on the piano or guitar) or play on your stereo. Only a few notes from the chorus are enough for students to recognize them. The first student to call bingo can choose the song the whole class should perform.

The nature of this performance can vary according to the age and music level of your students and your teaching goal for that class. A capella in unison, singing harmonies with one or several instruments, you choose the best follow-up activity for this music bingo for elementary students.

You can create bingo cards with other themes, adapting to other difficulty levels or focus. Instead of Disney songs, you can choose masterpieces of classical music or regionally famous songs. Instead of names of songs on the card, you can add instrument names or pictures and play recordings of each instrument so students can recognize what instruments are being played. I love music bingo because it is easily adaptable, flexible, and fun!

bingo-disney songs

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4. Music 101 flashcards

If you’re teaching music theory, it’s important to absorb the basics well before moving on to more complex topics. Encourage your students to master basic symbols used on a music sheet by giving them this music flashcard set. With music flashcards for elementary school or learners at a basic level, they can study and practice the content and learn how to interpret the symbols they will see throughout their journey in the music world.


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5. Different guitars

One of my favorite tools for teaching music to elementary school students is the hotspot image widget. On it, students will see pictures of different instruments, and by clicking on different spots in the image, they can hear what that instrument sounds like.

In this example, I’m teaching the sounds of different guitars: classical, steel string, electric and bass. You could also add string instruments or upload a picture with several other instruments. For elementary students, adding the audio is best. Still, for middle school students or upper level, you could include text with additional information about that instrument, such as in what types of music they are found or their origin, or even a web link such as a video to show that instrument being played.

hotspot-different guitars

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6. Teaching a piano melody

When teaching students new melodies on the piano, having a digital piano keyboard available will allow your students to practice at home, even if they don’t own a piano or keyboard. This piano widget shows a music sheet, and students have to press the piano key that lights up to play and learn the melody.

This is an efficient and fun way to teach elementary school students the piano, and they will be proud of themselves when playing a real piano for the first time, knowing the song’s melody. With this widget, you can also already include the melody as an audio sound, so students get a hint of what it should sound like.

piano-the lion king

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Intermediate Level Music Activities 🥁

The intermediate music activities suggested here can also be used for higher levels and, if adapted, even for lower ones. If you’re teaching music for the middle school, you will likely get a class in which students will have very different musical skills and previous knowledge. Hence, these activities are easy to adapt for differentiating.

7. Parts of an instrument

This is a music activity for intermediate-level students to learn the names of different parts of the instruments. In this example, students who play the guitar should get more familiarized with its parts to play the instrument and understand the teacher’s instructions more clearly. Here, students have to click on the hotspot image to learn the names of the different parts of a guitar and their functions. You can easily adapt this activity to teach the names of the parts of other instruments.

hotspot-parts of the guitar

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8. Music memory game

An old-time favorite for many teachers, a memory game should be included in your lesson plan for teaching music at some point. In this example, I’ve created a digital music memory game with the names and dates of very famous classical music composers. This game works wonderfully as a follow-up activity after going through each composer and their work. In this memory game quiz, you can also upload a piece of audio to be matched with the picture of a text with the name of each composer.


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9. Music pair-matching game

Like the memory game, a pair-matching game brings a set of (digital) cards within which students must find pairs that match. You could easily transform a memory game into a pair-matching game about composers as well, but in the examples we’ve created, students have to click on a card to listen to some second of a song and then click on the name of the singer they think sings that song. Our example celebrates amazing female singers around the world, but you can, of course, adapt it to your needs. What pairs would you like to create instead?

pair matching-female singers

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10. Guess the instrument

There are so many great resources on video streaming platforms that can be used as part of a music lesson plan that you could create a video quiz about virtually anything. This video quiz for intermediate music students aims to test their ability to identify different timbres or colors of sound. In this music video, one instrument at a time is played for 15 seconds.

After this time, a multiple-choice question will pop onto the screen. Students click the option corresponding to the instrument they’ve just listened to. After the question is answered, they can continue to the video, where they will see the correct answer, with the instrument’s name and a picture. They will get their total score at the end of this music video quiz.

video quiz- guess the instruments

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11. Understanding song lyrics

Next, we bring two video quizzes with fill-in-the-blank activities in two layouts. The first video clip we chose is by Justin Timberlake, singing Can’t Stop the Feelin’, the soundtrack of a very popular animation movie, Trolls. The second is a contemporary classic by Pharrell Williams, Happy.

These activities are a fun way to start an intermediate level music lesson plan, since after the students go through the video clip and do the exercises, you can begin a group discussion about the meaning of the lyrics, what emotions and feelings they awaken and go deeper in the interpretation, depending on the song you choose.

video quiz - lyrics

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Advanced Music Activities 🪗

As students advance in their music knowledge and skills, there are many more resources you can bring into your advanced music lesson plan that will challenge and engage your students.

12. Music arrangements

I love this advanced music activity to develop attentive listening and aural sensibilization. We’ve created this split whiteboard with a music video on one side and a picture with several different music instruments, which students have to circle as they identify them being played in the arrangement. I chose the song Viva la Vida by Coldplay since it’s very famous and has a breathtaking arrangement, with some instruments easily identifiable.

split worksheet- arrangements

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Here’s the answer sheet for this activity. viva la vida arrangement

13. Music timeline

When approaching the history of music, make sure to make the content as visual as possible to help it be more tactile for your students. The timeline we’ve created to teach the history of Western music encourages your students to organize the information they’ve learned about different eras of Western music in a chronological order. Students can add text and pictures to make the timeline more comprehensive.

timeline-western music

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14. Music knowledge

Learning about music is not just about making noise. Provide your students with an interactive worksheet about a specific music genre. In this rock music lesson plan for advanced students, we’ve included different aspects of rock music: bands, artists, and elements that make this genre so appealing. You can add a lot to a worksheet like this one, so get rocking with BookWidgets’ over 35 different question types!


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15. Songwriting

A randomness wheel is a great tool to awaken students’ creativity. In other blog posts, we’ve shown this widget being used for students to write sentences, essays, and stories. Here, we combine different elements randomly to set the background for a song that students must write.

This fun activity should be part of a music lesson plan for advanced students, in which you will go through the structure of the kind of lyrics that you want them to write, the instruments and keys they want them to play in, etc. You can also create your randomness wheel with more relatable elements to your students or to fit a specific theme.


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AI-Bonus 🤖

Writing a pop song with AI

Why not use AI to help spark students’ musical talents? With this split worksheet, students will learn the structure of a basic pop song, get a random combination of words to prompt ChatGPT with, and, based on that, create their own pop song. But the activity doesn’t stop there. Students will then record their song with the instruments they play, first individually, then by gathering with other students to form a band or ensemble.

split worksheet-AI

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Music Lesson Resources ✏️

Besides the great activities we’ve created for this blog post, we recommend a few digital resources that can be extremely valuable to music teachers.

  • Chrome Music Lab makes learning music even more fun through various colorful apps that are very accessible to children. With these apps, children can experiment with notes, rhythms, duration, and much more.
  • Music Theory is a well-structured website that provides all aspects of music theory. The website brings lessons, exercises, and useful tools for teachers and students.
  • Carnegie Hall, one of the most legendary concert venues in the world, has a Music Educators Toolbox, in which you will find material for teaching music divided by grade and categorized by focus point.
  • One among many good websites to get chords from, CifraClub allows musicians and music learners to search for chords in their database, not only for guitar but also for keyboards, ukulele, and a couple of other instruments. You can also easily get the bass tabs, transpose the keys, and click to open little pop-up windows showing you how to form the chords you don’t know by heart. Another awesome feature is using the auto-rolling function, whose speed you can adapt, so as you play the song, for instance, on the guitar, the page with the chords will automatically roll down, following the pace you set. The page is in Portuguese or Spanish, but you can easily use Google Translate to translate the necessary buttons, and you’ll be ready to go.

Wrap Up 🎼

Easter is a great excuse to bring new ideas and fun to your classroom. Combine maths, history, geography, STEAM, or language lessons with fun activities and games, and your students will look forward to returning to class after Easter Break.

Which of these ideas is your favorite? As I mentioned before, in this folder, you will find all the activities we’ve created with BookWidgets for this blog post. You can copy them into your BookWidgets account, and creating one, in case you don’t have one, is free and a very simple process.

Do you have any other awesome Easter classroom activities to share? We’d love to hear them.

Let us know on Twitter - @ibookwidgets. You can always connect with me on LinkedIn and say “Hi .“Join our Facebook community to share your fun, creative Music BookWidgets activities with other teachers.

Teaching music is not just about notes and rhythms; it’s about inspiring a love for harmony in life. 🪘🎤🎹🎺🎸🎻🪈

Julia Barreiro

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