As we all get ready for school to start ~ some of us have already started while others have a whole month before they start ~ here are the BIG 4 MUST HAVES:

  1. Standards: we all have them, but they don’t necessarily work for us! I don’t love the layout, so I reorganized them to make it easier for me to plan. I created 9 categories and put each standard in the one I thought made the most sense. The categories are:
    1. Pitch/ Melody
    2. Rhythm
    3. Texture
    4. Timbre
    5. Expressive Elements
    6. Form/ Format
    7. Experience
    8. Creation
    9. Connection

Here is a copy of my layout~ of course I changed the rhythm section a bit and added more specific guidelines for the  composition thread!

  1. A planbook that doesn’t require any additional printing on your part and can accommodate any and all classroom situations.
    1. I have tried all kinds of planners for both my personal and professional life ~ I have even created some for printing (SEE HERE), but in the end we need simple and cheap. (I bought the Music Teacher Plan-It from Amazon, but was not impressed, unfortunately! It allowed only 1 small square to write all of your lessons for each class. This does not help me!!) SOOOO I ended up with a Carson Dellosa standard planbook. It isn’t anything fancy, but I can make it work so that it includes everything I need! (…and yes, the cover is a bit hokey, but that was the store had 😊)
    2. For each week’s layout I put a grade level in each subject section across the top (I teach K-6 this year for elementary grades. For the Preschool I will need a different method. I will explore that in later posts.) and down the left-hand side, I put Intro, Singing, Movement, Instruments, and Creating. I chose those because I want every class to include these items.
    3. Here is a photo ~
      1. as you can see, I have only planned Kindergarten for the first week!! I wanted to nail down the method before I went full blown forward! (Next week I will let you know what my first week of classes will look like!)
      2. I also wrote out the theme for each month (next item on the list) so that I could keep track.


  1. Monthly Themes: My biggest pet peeve with premade curriculums out there is that there seems to be no rhyme or reason to why they pick a song for a certain class beyond to teach a concept. We understand it, but to the kids, it is completely random. This year I wanted to create monthly themes to help keep me on track with repertoire I wanted to cover, to help hook the kids and keep music fun, and to connect music to world cultures, as per our standards. This isn’t to say that every single thing I teach will tie into the theme, but I will link as much as possible to it. Here is what I chose:
    1. August ~ Back to School
    2. September ~ Community
    3. October ~ Halloween
    4. November ~ Thanksgiving
    5. December ~ Winter Holidays Around the World
    6. January ~ Music of the United States
    7. February ~ Black History Month
    8. March ~ MIOSM
    9. April ~ Earth Day
    10. May ~ Wrap Up
  2. Weekly Checklist ~ How often am I really covering each standard? We know that children need a lot of practice with concepts before they learn them, so I needed a way to keep track of what I was doing. It makes sense to create a spread sheet for each grade level and each standard (I am sure I will eventually), but in my planbook I have a section for keeping track of attendance. Since I don’t use this section, I put my checklist here:


I hope these MUST HAVES are helpful! Please let us know HERE what you do to get ready for your school year! Happy Planning!!