With the novel coronavirus on our shores, there is talk about what might happen now. We are anticipating the possibility of schools closing in order to stop the spread of the virus, in which case we would need to go online with our learning. What could that look like in music?

Schools are already closed in Hong Kong and other parts of China. It’s a real possibility that we might need to continue schooling with the students at home. It’s a bit trickier than something like math or writing; we have so much specialized equipment that the students won’t have at home. They can’t sing together online. We can’t do our folk dances or movement activities. So let’s get creative.

Websites with lessons and activities

There’s a good chance that not all of your students will have internet access, or access to a device at home. But if you know they do, here are a few easy places to start, because the work has been done for you. You may be familiar with some of these already, but here are a few places I’ve been exploring to find games, lessons, and video clips for students to check out at home. 

Prodigies for early childhood lessons

PBS Kids

Classics for Kids

Carnegie Hall’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra


Arts Edge for making instruments

Animated Science (animated orchestra)

Groove Pizza

Rhythm Randomizer for sight-reading rhythms

How will #onlinelearning look for music teachers? Here are some resources for your planning, and some to use directly with your students, if you need to shift to #distancelearning. #musiced #coronavirus Share on X

Websites for YOU

Once you’ve gotten the first week set up, you have some time to think about a longer plan. Here are a few places you can browse for worksheets and videos to curate for your units.

Here’s a video my students love in class, and they could easily do it at home too. There are a lot more videos on that YouTube channel, so have a look around.

Carnegie Hall lesson plans

Composer of the Month

There are thousands of worksheets, printable games, and activities here. I’ll write a separate post with some suggestions, but if you have some favorites, please post them in the comments! 

Finally, if your students have good internet access from home, you can hold live sessions using Google Meet (Hangouts)! You can read a music storybook to them. The great thing about recording it is that you can add some music (or other layers) to it after recording. You could record yourself singing a song from one of the books above, and they can sing along at home. You can do demonstrations in your classroom using equipment the students won’t be able to access at home, so they aren’t missing so much in class.

Looking for ideas for distance learning activities or choice boards? Check out this collection of 250 ideas! Plus, both pre-filled and blank, editable Music Bingo and Listening Bingo cards to get you started right away!

music task ideas cover

If you have great ideas to add, please share them in the comments! 

Online Learning for Music Teachers
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