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Music Room Decor{Blog Hop}

In my last post I shared about my plans to stay home this school year with my daughter as she starts half day preschool and we prepare to welcome baby #2 in December. Although I don't have a classroom of my own this year, that has not kept me out of the classroom.

I have been able to help several of my local music teacher friends get their rooms ready for the first day of school. I wish I could just take a little road trip all summer long decorating music rooms, because I enjoy it so much! 

Today I am teaming up with 5 other fabulous music bloggers to share ideas for "Back to School in the Music Room". From decor, to organization, to what activities to try that first day/week/month, we've got you covered! My post is going to tackle Music Room Decor. After you read my post, you can click the picture at the bottom to hop to the next blog post. Keep going until you are all the way back to mine to make sure you have read them all!

Music Room Decor - Back to School in the Music Room (Blog Hop) - Kodaly Inspired Classroom - find out my "must have" decor items for the music room.


So let's talk music room decor.

Music Room Decor - Back to School in the Music Room (Blog Hop) - Kodaly Inspired Classroom - find out my "must have" decor items for the music room.


This summer I read a great post by David Row on "What every music teacher music have on their walls". In this post he said something that really stuck with me: 

It might be cute, but does it enhance student learning?  Music Room Decor - Back to School in the Music Room (Blog Hop) - Kodaly Inspired Classroom - find out my "must have" decor items for the music room.

We need to be intentional with what we put on our walls, and not just print and post everything under the sun or hang every poster we own. I've also seen a lot of posts in Music Teacher Facebook groups recently about people who feel it is easy to over-do it when it comes to music room decor by filling every bit of wall space they have and how it is overstimulating kids.

SO...

Here are my decor "must haves" for my music room. (Keep in mind - different strokes for different folks - something that is a "must have" for me may be different than what is a "must have" for you, but I will share with you what I deem worthy of my ink and walls)

1) Music Room Rules
You've probably thought long and hard about what would be appropriate rules for your music room. If you expect your students to follow those rules, you need to have them posted in your room, and you need to spend time those first few lessons going over them and then every subsequent lesson enforcing them. I always post mine right in the front of the room. I put little magnets on the back so they could hang on my board and be "front and center" for kids to see, right beside whatever I would be projecting on my board that day.

Music Room Rules Posters - Music Room Decor - Back to School in the Music Room (Blog Hop) - Kodaly Inspired Classroom - find out my "must have" decor items for the music room. Watercolor music room
I have lots of different themes, but this set is my personal favorite and it comes from my watercolor classroom decor. Find it here.


2) Bulletin boards that reinforce concepts/music vocabulary that is relevant to your lessons
I almost always have one board in my classroom that is dedicated to lines and spaces of treble clef. This comes in handy when we get to lines/spaces, note names, and playing on pitched instruments.

I invaded my friend's classroom this week (thanks, Lynn!) and decorated a board for her while we chatted and she looked at her schedule and got things ready for open house.

I had this idea for a hot air balloon bulletin board for a while, but was just waiting on the right clip art. I wanted some dreamy looking watercolor hot air balloons, so I had a set custom created for me.

Aren't they lovely?!
Soaring Through the Lines and Spaces - bulletin board for the elementary music room - Music Room Decor - Back to School in the Music Room (Blog Hop) - Kodaly Inspired Classroom - find out my "must have" decor items for the music room.

I also made a set that uses solid colors for each balloons for the teachers that love to match their boomwhackers.  They look like this:

You can find my "Soaring Through the Lines and Spaces" bulletin board set here.

Another board that I did this August (thanks, Mia, for letting me take over this board) reinforces movement vocabulary. 
Let's Hop Into Music - elementary music bulletin board for movement vocabulary from Kodaly Inspired Classroom
Find it here.

I love that it brings a lot of the same movement words from PE (plus some new ones that maybe are more specific to music and folk dancing) into the music room. Sometimes we forget about movement vocabulary, but I think it is important to clarify movement vocabulary in the same way that we define music terminology, especially if we are wanting students to respond to music in a certain way though movement or perform some movement to music.

3) Solfege Hand Sign Posters 
After I went through Kodaly levels, I was a little uncertain about whether or not I wanted solfege hand sign posters displayed on the wall in my room, because I hadn't presented them all yet, and I didn't want it to take away the surprise. I decided two years ago to go ahead and have them posted year round, and was amazed how frequently my students referred to them, taking a sideways glance while we were solfege-ing (yep... I just made that a verb) folk songs in class. Even when we had been in the practice stage of a melodic concept for a while, I would still see students utilizing this. Would they know the name of the new mystery solfege? Yes, generally, BUT it doesn't take away from the Prepare/Present/Practice because even if they know the name, they still need to know how it sounds.


Solfege Posters
Find these here.

4) Word Wall
I have had a lot of questions about how I set up my word wall, and I will definitely be devoting a whole blog post to it at some point in the near future, but for now here are some ideas.

1) Post words alphabetically
2) Post words by concept (instrument words, dynamics words, notation words, etc.)
3) Post words by grade level

I always post my word wall cards by grade level in the order that they are presented (more on that in a future post).

Music Word Wall - sort your music word wall by grade level so that kids can focus in on the words that pertain to them and not be so visually overwhelmed. Music Room Decor {Back to School Blog Hop} - elementary music room ideas
These are from my watercolor music room set. Find the word wall individually here.

In the picture below, the music teacher chose to focus on words specifically centered around singing. This is a great idea for an elementary or middle school choir. The concepts become less abstract if they can be seen by the students and referred to them. They can really try to focus on one of these concepts when they rehearse a piece instead of "mindlessly" doing it again.
Choral Singing Word Wall - Help your young choirs focus on concepts like posture, tone, balance and more.  - bulletin board for the elementary music room - Music Room Decor - Back to School in the Music Room (Blog Hop) - Kodaly Inspired Classroom - find out my "must have" decor items for the music room.
 Find this choral singing word wall here.


5) Composers
Some teachers do a composer of the month. Do me a solid favor and DON'T arbitrarily post composers on your wall and never talk about them. One way to do this is to have a "Composer of the Month" board. If you do this, you MUST talk about that composer and use their music in your lesson plans - move it it, create a listening map, add a rhythm ostinato, read known rhythmic or melodic patterns from the music, etc., otherwise it is a waste of a board/wall space.

If you do decide that a COTM set is worthy of your wall space and teaching time, you need to check out these free sets from Tracy King and Sara Bibee. 

Composer of the Month Johannes Brahms -Bulletin Board


FREE! Music Composer of the Month: Antonín Dvořák

Both of these ladies produce wonderful sets! 


I hope you have enjoyed this post on my "must have" music room decor. Comment below if there is anything else that is a "must have" on your boards/walls. I'd love to hear about it!

Don't forget to continue on the blog hop. Hop to the next stop, Jena Hudson from Sew Much Music's post Organization.


Music Room Decor - Back to School in the Music Room (Blog Hop) - Kodaly Inspired Classroom - find out my "must have" decor items for the music room and then check out Jena Hudson's ideas for Organization on Sew Much Music





8 comments:

  1. These are great thoughts! I was really trying to be purposeful this year, in only hanging things on the walls or bulletin boards that I'd use, so I loved your suggestions (and bulletin boards!) Thank you!

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    1. Thanks! I had so much vertical wall space in my last classroom it would almost be impossible to overdo it with because the ceilings were so high, but it is definitely worth considering how much we put on our walls, what we put on our walls and why. I would never go to the other side of the pendulum and have NOTHING on my walls. That, I feel, is a missed opportunity for student learning.

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  2. Great post! I agree, you have to put things on your walls that are useful! I love the movement vocabulary bulletin board!

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  4. Thank you for all you do. I love! Love my frogs leaping all throughout my room this year. Take care and enjoy the time waiting for your little one to arrive to our wonderful planet, filled with love and music. We are all blessed to enjoy God's many gifts and the ones in each other, including our students. Sincerely, Rosemary

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