Just like reading and writing, music is a subject that needs built in time for guided instruction to meet students’ needs. While I have been doing guided instruction with a small group of students, the rest of my students have been working on skills that they needs to refine at Centres.

Here is what a lesson plan looks like in my class with Music Centres:

Grade: 4

Assessment for learning that informed this lesson: Students have written one piece of music on the staff 3 weeks ago. After individually performing their piece for the teacher, I have identified that playing the correct rhythm and blowing less on the lower notes are two areas of need with this class.

Grouping of Students: Students have been placed in heterogeneous grouping in order to support learning when doing independent practice.

Duration: This lesson will take between 3-4 classes to complete.

Curriculum Expectations:

Grade 4 music expectations: C1.3 create musical compositions for specific purposes and audiences (e.g., write a composition for recorder using musical notation on the five-line staff)

Minds-On Activity:


Ask students “When you have a new piece of music to learn, how should you learn it?

Review the following steps to learning a new song.

  1. Read and say the rhythm of the song. (Ta, ti ti)
  2. Read the notes of the song (B, G, E)
  3. Read the notes according to the rhythm
  4. Finger the song on the recorder
  5. Play the song

Apply the steps to an eight-beat piece of music


Students will participate in 6 centres that focus on the development of skills required to write compositions on the 5 line staff.

Centre 1: (with Ms. Axt) Students will have guided practice in writing and performing their own 8 beat piece of music on the recorder following the steps for learning a new song. The requirements of their created song will be in line with their next steps from their previous assignment.

Centre 2: Roll and Compose. Students will compose their own piece of music by rolling a dice. They will record their piece on an Ipad with an introduction about how they make a good sound on the recorder.

Centre 3: Rhythm BINGO. One student will be the BINGO caller as others try to find their rhythm on the BINGO card.

Centre 4: Students will play the game musical snakes and ladders. This will help them review the beat quantities for each rhythm symbol.

Centre 5: Creating and recording their compositions. Students use cards provided by the teacher to write their own piece of music and record each other on the iPad for the teacher to review after class. Students will add an introduction about how they read the notes on the staff.

Centre 6: Rhythm Cat: Students will use the app on the iPad called rhythm cat. This app gets progressively harder as students can play more difficult rhythms. Each student will have their own tablet and headphones.

centre 2Centre 6centre 3centre 5Centre 4



3 thoughts on “Music Centres to support guided instruction

  1. Hi Tammy…I love your center ideas! I just started recorders with my 4’s and we spent lots of time beforehand learning how to read and compose rhythms. I’m wondering if you would be willing to share your resources for the centres (eg. the bingo game, snakes and ladders game etc.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.