Apr 8, 2007

Singing in the Classroom

72 song picture cards ... a late evening listening to some good music and I can check off another item from my music curriculum list.

This is an idea a picked up from Susan Stephenson, the owner of Michael Olaf. I ordered the 3-6 music curriculum and have found it to be a helpful resource. In the section about the Song Picture Cards, Susan says:

Song Picture Cards, like Poetry Picture Cards, make it easy for a young, non-reading child to ask for a certain song. Keep these in a box on the music shelves. A child can get out a card whenever she wants and sing it to herself, or ask another child or the teacher to sing it with her.

I would show the children the new song picture card when I introduce the song, either with the whole group at the end of the day, or to an individual child or small group. The new song card is then placed in the box on the shelf.


I made my cards with cardboard, tracing around a CD case before cutting it out with my paper cutter. (Bless your heart if you do all the cutting with scissors. You have more patience and hand strength than I do.) Once all 72 pieces of cardboard are cut, either draw or search Google images for relevant pictures for each song. For example, I found a painting of a partridge in a pear tree for The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Then, using your prettiest handwriting, write out the title to each song. Cut and paste title and picture to the cardboard, and laminate using contact paper. Use the same method as you would for making underlays.
Rotate the song picture cards according to holidays, time of the year, etc. I would have 10-20 displayed at any given time. 72 options would be overwhelming!

At a loss for songs? Rise Up Singing to the rescue! This is such a great resource, especially if you play the guitar in the classroom like I do. Along with lyrics to over 1200 songs, you get the simple guitar chords as well! You can order it from Michael Olaf.

And some photos of other things I've made in the past few days:


Silk dupion-lined storage pouch for the Composers material.

A silk obi-style pouch for the music note labels. This material should be placed near the bells.


Tiny orchestra fabric pouch that contains five labels: the percussion family, the brass family, the woodwind family, the string family, and the special instruments. Each of these has a different colored dot in one corner. The child can mix up all of the instruments of the orchestra cards (which now have color-coded dots on the back, indicating the family to which they belong) and, using this little material, sort them into their families. The dots serve as control of error. A more advanced child can sort the instrument name labels only, which also have color-coded dots on the back.

A simple CD pouch, hand-embroidered, to hold a special CD, such as entire works of a certain composer, music of a specific genre, etc. This material won't be on the shelf all of the time, only on special occasions.


Happy Easter to all! May you eat plentiful chocolate, and, in my family's case, may you emerge alive and covered in confetti. Here are some confetti-filled eggshells decorated by my talented aunt. Don't worry, these are not crushed on the heads of willing victims (see previous link.) I think these have been decorations in my parents' house for upwards of 15 years now!

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