Music History Teacher Resources
Find Music History lesson plans and worksheets
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Lesson Planet Curated
Crash Course Theater and Drama
Forsooth! Here’s a collection that has everything you ever wanted to know about the theater and drama—everyone from Aristotle to Chikamatsu, from Moliere to Shakespeare to Williams. From Banraku to Zaju, every type from comedy to...
Lesson Planet Curated
Freedom Is Coming: Songs of Freedom, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad
Young historians examine song lyrics and slave narratives to uncover the realities of life for enslaved people. The six-lesson unit looks at the way enslaved people used music to provide hope, as well as to fight against oppression....
Not Your Grandma's Music: A Lesson in Music History
Students experience and discuss the different musical periods such as Baroque, Classical and Romantic. In this music lesson, students discover musical theory and apply it to the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. Students will...
Concordia College Archives
History and Musical Aesthetics
What are the musical elements that characterize a school's fight song or its alma mater? Class members listen to examples of fight songs and alma maters from various schools, play a listening game, and then create a list of the...
Down By the Riverside
High schoolers discuss the musical genre of spirituals and its influence on our musical history. They perform various songs, and read the student score for, Down By the Riverside.
Japanese Music Study
Gagaku is music traditionally played in the Japanese imperial courts of long ago. Learners listen to this and other traditional Japanese music to gain an understanding of culture and music history. They work to identify Japanese...
In this music worksheet, students answer 7 questions about music history. For example, "Describe the Bach influences upon Mahler in the second section of this extract."
Johann Sebastian Bach
In this music history activity, students read and analyze an article on Johann Sebastian Bach and then answer twelve comprehension questions about the composer.
Trey and Dave go to Africa: Music
Trey from Phish and Dave from the Dave Mathews Band took a trip to Africa to explore music, culture, and history. Your class watches this episode from VH1's Music Studio to understand how African culture and music have influenced modern...
Music History: Part One
Students research the various music composers of the Baroque music period. They conduct Internet research, take notes about their selected composer, and write an essay that includes important information about their composer.
If your class has read anything on Indian music, they'll love completing these worksheets. They use the completed graphic organizer to answer five questions, read about the way Indian drummers create their beats, and then create a rhythm...
Music of Russia
Music around the globe may sound different, but it always tends to function partly as a mode of communicating religion, rights of passage, and oral tradition. Delve into the world of Russian music. Folk, peasant, Cossack, and orchestral...
"Eine Kleine Nachtmusik"
Mozart was an amazing composer and "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" was one of his best-loved orchestral pieces. This handout provides a brief description of the instruments for which it was written, and how each section and part should be...
The Baroque Music Period
Music appreciation can start very early and providing a historical context makes music more meaningful. Present this information to your students to help them understand the people, music, and instruments common to the Baroque Period....
Music from Across America
Students complete a unit of lessons on a variety of types of American music. They record their impressions of music samples on a worksheet, identify types of instruments, and choose a musical selection for their family to respond to.
A Musical Composition Experience
Upper graders having skills in music performance will extend their abilities through creative musical composition. They'll use Finale 2000 to explore facets of music composition, they'll then compose a piece for their instrument in C, F,...
Get out the text-book, and CD player to teach a lesson on Mozart. Afterward, you can administer this quiz which requires learners to complete 20 short-answer questions related to Mozart's life, operas, music, and general music terminology.
Latin American Music
Learn about the music of Latin America! Four types of music are defined by their instruments, uses, and cultural impact or influences. Indigenous, Iberian, African influenced, and Urban music are all discussed.
The History of the "Blues"
Take a quick tour through the history of Blues. Elementary learners will find this presentation easy to understand and full of interesting information. There are web links that direct viewers to additional information but none that...
Arabic Folk and Popular Music: Egypt, Lebanon, and Spain
How many of us have actually listened to Arabic folk or pop music? Learn about the many facets of folk music common to Lebanon, Spain, and Egypt with this well-organized presentation. Islamic cultural influences are traced throughout...
Indian Film Music
Music has been used with many different art forms, but none more obvious than film. Explore the history, cultural influences, and music found in Indian Film. Text in this presentation is bulleted, making it great for taking notes. Tip:...
Evolution of Music - Pentatonix
Explore music through the decades with an engaging video brought to you by the 5-part harmony acapella group, Pentatonix. Genuine musical talents sing through a variety of popular music from the 11th century to the 2010's. Artists...
Eckstine, Stayhorn, and the Dorseys: Masters of Swing
Students explore the history of swing music. In this music history lesson, students research the Dorsey Brothers, Billy Eckstine, and William Strayhorn to learn about swing music. Students define swing, develop a timeline of events in...
Medieval Music -- 500-1450
In this music history learning exercise, students learn about the musical style and instrumentation in the years between 500-1450. Students read several informative paragraphs and answer 7 questions.