Incorporating music in the classroom is essential for high school students. Students in this age group have other subjects to learn like Math, Science, and English. Music education helps them to shift their thoughts to something different and fun and gives them an opportunity to recharge their minds.
There is no denying that music can have numerous benefits for students. To begin with, music acts as a stress reliever for students. It inculcates time management and multitasking abilities in students to prepare them for adulthood. It also enhances their attention span and fine motor skills and encourages students to work as a team.
Besides teaching students how to play a musical instrument and sing for group musical performances, as a music teacher, you can incorporate music-related games and activities to bring variation to the teaching process.
Entertaining Music Games for High School Students
1. What’s the Rhythm?
Rhythm is a repetitive pattern of sound or movement. You can conduct this game in your music class to encourage hands-on learning of this concept. Here’s what you need to do –
- Divide the class into equal groups and ask them to stand in a line.
- Call the students who are last in the line and secretly show them a rhythm in the form of a notation.
- Let the student tap the shoulders of the person standing in front of them to play the rhythm.
- The student in the front must understand the rhythm and repeat the same process with the person ahead of them.
- When the rhythm reaches the first student in the row, they must run to the board and write the notes.
- The team which guesses the correct rhythm wins the game.
2. Music Trivia
You will have to do some work ahead of time to conduct this game in class. First, prepare a list of music-related questions along with their answers. Then, divide the students into groups of five and shoot them with trivia questions. You can set a timer to make this game more competitive.
If you wish, you can categorize questions based on music symbols, famous singers, famous music composers, etc. When all the questions are over, declare the team that gives the most correct answers as the music trivia winner.
Given below are a few questions to give you an idea of how you can frame your trivia questions –
- How many members does One Direction have? Name them.
- Phil Collins is a part of which band?
- How are songs arranged in today’s times?
- Where do you find a hook in a pop song?
- What is a basic major triad?
- Name the lead singer of the rock band “Pearl Jam.”
- What do you mean by a Time Signature?
- Which major key signature is known to have three sharps?
3. Guess the Music Style
As it is impossible to cover all musical styles in the music class, you can use this game to introduce different music styles to your students. But first, you need to do a little preparation. Here’s how to get started –
- Make a list of songs belonging to different music styles and record their excerpts.
- Ask the students to prepare a numbered list in their notebooks.
- Now begin playing the excerpts one at a time.
- Let the students listen to the song, identify its music style, and note it down in their list.
- When you are done playing all the excerpts, discuss the answers.
- The student with the most right answers is declared the winner.
3. Fun Music Pictionary
Pictionary is a challenging game for kids and adults alike. You can give a musical twist to this game so that kids can have some fun while guessing the answers. All you need to do is prepare some paper chits and draw musical symbols like half note, eighth note, sixteenth note, etc., on them.
Let the students form two teams and ask one person from each team to come forward and pull out a chit. The student must then draw the symbol on the whiteboard and give an opportunity to his team members to identify the symbol. For each right answer add one point to the score. The team with higher score earns a reward.
Must-Try Activities for High School Students
1. Create a Percussion Band
This fun and engaging activity teach students how music can be created by using everyday objects. Let your students bring their choice of an object, something which could be played as a drum. It could be anything, like books, bowls, cans, boards, etc.
The students must then use these items to play percussion sounds. Once the students develop a rhythm, add lyrics or chants to complete the music piece. Record the performance and watch it with the students to discuss how things can be done in other ways to improve their gig.
2. Compose a Song
Composing a song may feel intimidating at first, but with the right tools, high schoolers can come up with beautiful songs of their own. Start by explaining the ABA form and Rondo form of songs to your students. Once they select which form of a song they would like to compose, they can work on composing their music with the ideas they have in their mind.
For students who require a little help in kick-starting their music composition, you can go ahead and introduce them to music creation software like Chrome Song Maker, GarageBand, and Paint Music Composer to assist them in the process.
When all the students are ready with their songs, you can have a musical session where each of them showcases their musical creations.
3. Research Your Favorite Musician
High school students are old enough to conduct research, so you can use this activity to enhance their knowledge about their favorite musicians and composers. Students will have to choose one musician they wish to conduct research on and present their findings in the form of a presentation. They must also present a music piece composed by their favorite musician. Students can either sing a song or play any of his works on a musical instrument.
If you are comfortable, you can allow the students to use their creativity to decide how they want to present their research. It could be in the form of a visually appealing video or a power-point presentation. It will also help the students if they know what information they are supposed to cover about the musician. They could find answers to the following questions –
- How was your favorite musician’s early life?
- What is his background?
- Who influenced your musician to take up a musical career?
- What are your musician’s significant works?
- Which music styles does your composer like to explore?
- Did they take any special training to excel in the music field?
- Did your musician receive an award for any of their work?
4. Learn a Musical Instrument
Schools often have a piano and some other musical instruments in the music room. Allow students to decide which instrument they would like to try their hands on. They don’t have to be an expert musician to do this activity.
Provide them with online resources where they can learn the basics of playing an instrument and let them practice at school. After a few days of practice, have a session for students to showcase what they have learnt in front of their classmates.
Musical training for high school students is as important as other subjects. It helps activate their creativity and expands their minds beyond regular school subjects. Therefore, music teachers must take on this responsibility to make the most of the time they get with the students.
Using various games and activities to improve the musical quotient in high school students is a great way to influence their minds positively. Their increased focus and ability to retain and memorize information can significantly change their capability to learn new things. In addition, it will also help in improving their physical and mental well-being which will reflect in all aspects of their life.