It is no surprise that non-musicians get freaked out at the very thought of singing or playing an instrument in front of others…even classroom teachers! (although it always surprises me how often we ask our students to take risks and to “try hard” even if they are scared, and yet we, ourselves, will rarely do such a thing!). In this whole business of STEM to STEAM, I would imagine that a lot of teachers are not all that thrilled at including music as a part of their curriculum ~ they believe, like many do, that music is only for “the talented”. (Click HERE to find out how I really feel about that!)

Enter us ~ “The Music Education Expert”! Rather than simply offer a song about the times tables or rock formations, let’s take it a step further. Let’s get the school faculty creating music together….I know, I am NUTS, but think about it for a moment ~ here is an opportunity to be a resource for the faculty. How perfect! At the very beginning or end of a faculty meeting, you could stand up, introduce yourself as one of the “A in STEAM” resources and teach a lesson that you know they will love and will be successful with immediately. I am sure you have one in your arsenal, but if you don’t here is a great one from Dave Holland’s Drumagination Lesson Booklet (Click on his website interactiverhythm.com for more information):


This activity combines hand/ eye coordination while providing sound effects to actions happening in the center of the circle. This is a great way to invite participants to the center to do some facilitating of their own!


  • drums, hand percussion


  • Begin by saying “when my feet hit the ground, play one sound.”


  • Once you’ve established group cooperation, say “what other sounds can you create to match this fancy footwork?”
  • Begin to experiment with other foot movements such as tiptoe, stomping, sliding, or even the moonwalk!
  • Now invite 1 or more members of your group into the circle to lead the group in creating sound effects or some groovy feet beats!


  • Once you’ve had some fun with this game, use your feet to establish a new tempo or pulse (6/8 anyone?) for the next group to groove!
  • Consider using other body parts to illicit sounds from the group (ie: arm wiggle, punch, booty shake)


  • Leadership empowerment, creativity
  • representative language

(Page 20)

And last, but not at all least, remember to communicate:

  1. What you don’t expect (which is just as important: note reading, proper singing technique, etc…)
  2. Music is for everyone ~ regardless of level. Making music together is ALWAYS a good idea!..and ALWAYS a lot of fun!

If you have a great lesson that you would like to share, please post in the comments below! We are always looking for great ideas!