Beginner Band Substitute Lesson Plan (for a Non-Music Sub)

This NEW (2017) lesson plan is written with beginner band students in mind and uses short, 2-5 minute videos from Khan Academy, TedEd etc. with a simple follow-along worksheet for students. (If you need one for older students, try HERE. If you need one for general music, try HERE.) If you have a planned absence coming up, try allowing your students to lead the class – THIS article explains what to do ahead of time to help this be successful.

This Beginning Band Substitute Lesson Plan is for a 45 minute class period with more than they can get done just to be sure there’s no time left at the end. Click here to download a printable PDF. It includes these lesson plans as well as the follow-along worksheet.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBSTITUTE:

Go to BandDirectorsTalkShop.com. Search Beginner Band Substitute Lesson Plan. Use the links from that site.

Attendance (2 minutes)
As the students enter please tell them they will need only a pen/pencil and a hard surface to write on today.  No instruments. Please have students sit in their normal seats. Take attendance.

Pass out worksheets (1 minute)
Please give each child a copy of the “What I Learned in Band Today” paper. Please have them put their names on them and tell them that we WILL be looking at them when we return.  We expect thoughtful and engaged answers.

Show Video #1 – Khan Academy – Note values, duration & time signature – 3 minutes.  Answer Video #1 questions (1-2 minutes)

Show Video #2 – Khan Academy – Rhythm, dotted notes, ties & rests – 4 1/2 minutes Answer Video #2 questions (1-2 minutes)

Show Video #3/4 – How it’s made: (watch TWO 5 minute clips) Please choose 2 videos that fit the class – ask what instruments the students play and choose 2 of those. Answer Video #3/4 questions (1-2 minutes)

Video #5 – Star Wars: A New Hope Ending – 2 minutes  (please skip any advertisements when possible. Stop video when credits begin. Watching time should be about 1 min 45 sec.)  Answer Video #5 questions (1-2 minutes)

Show Video #6 – Star Wars: A New Hope Ending – No music – 2 minutes Answer Video #6 questions (1-2 minutes)

Time Permitting Video (It’s fine if they get to watch part or all of it but not answer questions.)
ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL Video #7 – Ted ed – Why We Love Repetition in Music – 4 1/2 minutes 
Answer Video #7 questions (3 minutes)

WHEN THE BELL RINGS – please collect papers as the students are leaving.

STUDENT FOLLOW-ALONG QUESTIONS:

Name _________________     What I Learned in Band Today

You can currently use this directly from this article. We are working on getting a PDF of this ready. Check back soon.

Video #1 – Khan Academy – Note values, duration & time signature

1. How many quarter notes equal 1 whole note? 

2. How many eighth notes equal 1 quarter note?

3. What does the top number of a time signature tell you?
a)how many notes are in a bar       c) how many bars are in the song
b)how many beats are in a bar       d) how many fingers are on your hand

4. How many beats does a half note get?

Video #2 – Khan Academy – Rhythm, dotted notes, ties & rests

1. Do rhythms have to repeat measure after measure or can there be variety?

2. What does a dot do to a note – adds _____ the value of the note it follows.

3. What is another way to write a dotted half note?
a) half note tied to half note       b) half note tied to quarter note

4. How many beats is a dotted quarter note worth?
a) 2 beats       b) 1/2 beat        c) 1 and 1/2 beats

5. How do composers notate (write) silence?
a) blanks b) rests c) triangles

Video #3 How It’s Made – Instrument #1 ________________
1. Name 2 (or more) materials used to make this instrument:

2. What did you find most interesting about this video?

Video #4 How It’s Made – Instrument #2 ________________

1. Name 2 (or more) materials used to make this instrument:

2. What did you find most interesting about this video?

Video #5 – Star Wars: A New Hope Ending

Use 3 words to describe the music you just heard?

Video #6 – Star Wars: A New Hope Ending – Second Version

Now that you’ve watched both versions of this scene, how do you think music affects the movie?

Do you think Star Wars would have been as popular if it didn’t have music?

Video #7 – TedEd – Why We Love Repetition in Music

1. Have you ever disliked a song at first and then come to like it? Why might that be?

2. When repetition was added to excerpts from challenging contemporary art music:
a) Listeners found the music more enjoyable, interesting and artistic
b) Listeners found the music more unpleasant, boring and random

3. Read these words:

Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday dear Tommy.
________________________

Did you hear the song in your head?
Were you able to finish the last words?

4. Do you like to play songs you know or don’t know on your instrument?

5. List 2 of your favorite songs to play on your instrument:

Don’t forget to click here to download a printable PDF. It includes these lesson plans as well as the follow-along worksheet. 

We hope these band substitute plans make your life easier and help your kids have a productive and educational day.

Related Reading:
4th/5th Grade Substitute Lesson Plan
How to Have a Student Led Band Class When you have a Substitute
Teaching Clarinets to “Roll to A” Isn’t Enough
Diagnosing Brass Tension and Helping Students Achieve a Better Sound

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