Musical instruments in the preschool classroom

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on February 20, 2010

in Music and Fingerplays, Sensory Play, The Value of Play

There are a variety of ways you can use musical instruments in the classroom.

Create a music center and try adding…

  • Baskets of musical instruments
  • A CD Player
  • A pretend microphone
  • A mirror
  • A little platform for a stage (square)
  • Posters and books about music, composers, notes, and nursery rhymes.
  • Staple together little books of notation paper and add drawing tools for children to create their own songs.
  • Baskets of movement props like paper plates, ribbon sticks, and scarves.
  • Home made instruments: Check out these awesome homemade drums and drumming activities from Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning!
  • See this music book from Fleet of Fun
Music Box

Create a music box. Choose a different type of instrument to put in the music box each week. If you choose to use a music box – make sure you have plenty of instruments to go around because it will be a big hit.

Rhythm Stick



In your circle time, add musical instruments to a familiar song. Here are a few examples:

  • Add a rainstick to the song “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.  Let the children shake the rain stick back and forth to make the sound of the rain.
  • Add a rythm stick for tapping noises to songs like “Johnny Works with One Hammer” or “One Little Hammer Went Tap Tap Tap!”
  • Add instruments to songs like … “If you’re happy and you know it” (ring a bell) (tap a drum) (shake a maraca).
Telling stories
Try adding musical sound effects when retelling favorite stories or making up new ones.  For example, “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear?  I hear a tambourine shaking in my ear!”

Instead of children telling you a story – try having them dictate to you a song.

Instrument Games
Play an instrument and see if the children can guess what it is.
How else do you use musical instruments in your classroom?

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Promoting excellence in early childhood education at home and in the preschool classroom!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Michelle February 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm

What great ideas!! I have been trying to add music and instruments into our day on a daily basis. We have added some music CD’s to dance to, we have been adding some instruments to some of our books we read, especially the book Mortimer, by Robert Munch. Everytime Mortimer sings “Clang, Clang, Rattle, Bing, Bang… Gonna Make My Noise All Day” we create LOTS of Clatter with our instruments. But, these are idea’s I will definitely implement!! Thanks again!!

2 Diana (Diane) Maria February 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm

This is such a great idea and a wonderful reminder! We have musical instruments in our school and I had forgotten all about them until now. I will definitely utilize them starting this week along with your ‘circle time’ suggestions.

Thanks!

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