I once heard the quote that if Plan A doesn’t work, not to worry. There are 25 other letters in the alphabet. Sometimes it is very necessary to have many back up plans. As I mentioned in the previous post, this is the time of year I and several of my co-workers tend to be stricken with various illnesses.  I was asked by one of the substitutes what I do when things happen like losing my voice. I didn’t even hesitate to answer sharing some of my back up plans. I would love to hear what some of your plans are. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites.


This is one of my favorite musical stories to share. Peter and the Wolf is perfect whether as a brand new story introducing instruments of the orchestra to Kindergarten through 2nd grade or recognizing themes for 3rd through 5th grade!

RR logo classic

Another treasure to have in your bag of tricks. There are many episodes of this that would be great for a music room. 2 of my favorite episodes are ‘Zin Zin Zin a Violin‘ and ‘Hip Cat‘.  Zin Zin Zin talks about sizes of ensembles and gives a behind the scenes sneak peek at the Julliard Pre-College Orchestra. Hip Cat is a lovely introduction to jazz and improvisation. I love to do some improvisational dance along with this video.

My partner and I have been known to have centers on that day using a musical signal to switch centers.  Our centers usually involve our personal music book library as a reading station, an art center where students might create an instrument from recyclable objects or sketch their new version of an instrument, another center might be a listening center for students to follow along with a story to a recording. We also have access to a couple of laptop carts for a technology day once in a while. I’ll do a more tech focused blog in the near future.

Of course there are always ways to shift gears to help save voice and keep going with whatever unit you are on. For instance, switching from a melodic focus to a more rhythmic focus. It is also an awesome time for students to take ownership of the lesson and their learning. There are always students willing to help.

I think I’ve rambled on enough for now, but I’ll be back soon with more news about the happenings with my students and other hints, tips, etc. for you to use!


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