10 Music Activities that can be taught at home
Music is a part of everyone’s lives - but teaching the joy of music doesn’t always have to be in the classroom. Whether it’s making instruments, writing song lyrics, or tapping out a beat, here are 10 different Bring the Noise activities that work wonderfully at home or streamed over the internet.
1. DJ some new songs
We all have favourite songs we like to return to, but sometimes there’s no better way to broaden your horizons and get inspired than listening to some new music. Recommend an album to your child, or take a suggestion from them!
Here on Bring the Noise we’ve just launched three new songs on our Play It! interactive jukebox.
Break down Anything, Music Time and Dream On into their instrument stems in the Listen and Layer mode, play along to a visual pulse in Feel the Beat and even improvise on top of them with some fun samples in Make Some Noise.
And for those who didn’t know - using Bring the Noise: Play It! is a great way to earn the Blue Peter Music Badge.
Blue Peter, BBC Music Day and Bring the Noise teamed up to create this colourful badge, find out how to apply for it on the Blue Peter website.
2. Get warmed up with some ensemble games
Learning music isn’t just about practising instruments or sitting still and listening. A great way to help children get a feeling for pulse and playing as an ensemble is to get active.
We have a whole suite of activities designed to spark an understanding in rhythm, pulse and pitch but to highlight just a few:
Forbidden Rhythm: Can you catch out the players in this call-and-response clapping game?
Sound Detectives: Turn the ‘Warmer/Colder’ game into a musical activity, and teach pitch while you’re at it.
Swampee: Need to burn some excess energy? This game improves pitch understanding and is a great workout.
3. Explore the music rainforest
Blend a little bit of music into your child’s learning journey by exploring a broader topic. Many schools use topics like Under the Sea, Space or even Superheroes as a springboard for learning over a half term period; and music education fits into this wonderfully.
Think about what topics your child is exploring at school and find songs that match.
Rainforests are an incredibly popular school topic, so here are a few rainforest-themed music videos and animations to get you started:
Andy’s Animal Raps: CBeebies star Andy Day has a dub-inspired flow about the jaguar, sloths and more.
Thunder Jam: When Ms Molly’s class listen to a rainforest soundscape, they are whisked away to the African Congo to learn how instruments can mimic the local animals.
Sonic Explorers: With J’s wild imagination and skill at finding interesting sounds she can turn her back garden into a lush jungle.
4. Make a DIY orchestra
You don’t need to buy an expensive instrument to start making music - perform from the comfort of your living room with a variety of homemade musical instruments.
Found Sounds is a series of videos following Bring the Noise ambassador YolanDa Brown as she discovers what sounds and instruments can be made from simple recycled materials. If a hosepipe horn and jam jar xylophone aren’t your thing, how about balloon skin drums?
When you’re done making instruments, why not play along with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra?
5. Write a song from scratch
Want to use those instruments you’ve made in the previous activity? How about writing a song together?
Making music from scratch sounds daunting, but musicians Omar Lye-Fook and Dame Evelyn Glennie explain step-by-step how they wrote a song, Dream On, in only two days and how you can take a crack at it yourself.
6. Write a lullaby with Gregory Porter
Winding down at the end of the day? A lullaby is just the ticket to wrap things up and get ready for bed.
You might be familiar with Rock-a-bye Baby, but what makes a song a lullaby?
Learn about the history of lullabies and have a go at singing one yourself here.
7. Sing, Dance and Sign
It goes without saying; music is for everyone! On the Bring the Noise site we have a wide range of activities and resources for young disabled learners or those with additional support needs. We’ve recently released a series of music videos that use British Sign Language.
The dance moves in the videos blend in the signed lyrics of the song so you can learn while you boogie.
8. Commemorate VE Day with Take You Home
This May marks the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. This year's theme centres around ‘Returning Home’ and we’ve worked with the National Memorial Arboretum to release a special activity plan for our song, Take You Home.
With a special message from the composer Laura White, and step-by-step instructions to learn how to sing the song, it’s an excellent way to remember such an emotional and historic event.
9. Have a Music Appreciation Day
Creative expression has many forms and music can be a great way to spark your child’s artistic side.
10. Take a break with some quizzes!
Phew, that's a lot to do! Remember to take a break every so often, even with creative activities. Sit somewhere comfortable and have a go at some of our quizzes.