In getting ready for next year, the first thing that comes to mind is how do I want to set up my classroom? I see a lot of photos on Pinterest and Facebook, but I haven’t been dazzled yet. A lot of teachers focus on the “cutesy” ~ a way to decorate so that it looks colorful and fun to onlookers, but I am not convinced it does anything to help children learn.
The Reggio Emilia approach refers to the classroom as the 3rd teacher. It is a matter of great importance. Their beautiful and thoughtful décor tends to emphasize natural materials and displays of the student’s work rather than premade anchor charts.
We, as music teachers, don’t have the time or space to create such a utopian environment, but I am on the hunt to find classroom designs that interest children and gets them excited about the learning that happens in my room!
Here are some questions I have as I move forward:
• How do I make the room theirs?
• How do I make a space that they will benefit from?
• What kinds of things should be on the wall?
• Since I share my room with the children’s choir director, how can I make it work for both of us?
• Considering I only see my students for 30 minutes, how can the space set up save me time?
I searched far and wide and this is what I have so far ~ 5 ideas to think about as I move forward!

  • Instrument Storage

This photo is from the website I like how clean and neat this looks, while still being a bit colorful. The teacher even managed to throw in a bit of inspiration to show what kinds of activities she does in her room!

  • Activity Center

I also want to include an area for provocations/ centers, especially for the little ones! It gives them an opportunity to explore sound and to create their own! Because of time constraints, this would be a possible whole groups activity, as well! You can check out the lesson HERE:

Here is another website with provocation ideas:

  • Composition Cart

A few years ago, I created this cart because I couldn’t keep my materials in the room I was teaching in. Although this is no longer the case, it still makes sense for me to have a composition center I can grab and use immediately with little to no set up! Read the blog post HERE:

  • Anchor Charts

Curwen hand signs are often displayed in music rooms. I included this one here because I like the simplicity of it. There isn’t anything superfluous about it, it just shows the kids what they need to know! You can find it on

  • Anchor Charts With A Double Function

I love that this anchor chart doubles as a way for kids to monitor themselves AND to understand the concept of dynamics. Dynamic vocabulary words are now a part of their everyday language!
You can find this HERE:

I hope there are ideas here you can use in your classroom. As I continue to think about what I want to do in mine, I will keep you posted! I am sure it will be a work in progress, but I promise to show you what the initial room will look like next week! PLEASE share with us your thoughts and let know what classroom ideas work for you!