Introducing music to 4th graders is a great way to foster their creativity and love for music. They can develop essential skills such as listening, teamwork, and self-expression through music. By engaging them in instrument exploration, song composition, movement activities, and musical games, they experience the joy of making music firsthand while improving their motor skills.
What’s more, according to the Oklahoma Government site, elementary students have a better understanding of the music scale (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do), making the perfect stage for the introduction of real musical notes like a, b, c, d, e, f, and g.
Whether singing together, creating their instruments, or participating in music games, these activities create a foundation for a lifelong appreciation of music and its many benefits.
7 Music Activities for Fourth Graders
1. Music Trivia
Music trivia is a fun activity that tests children’s music knowledge. It consists of questions about famous musicians, instruments, songs, and musical facts, and it encourages fourth graders to answer the questions based on their understanding of music. The trivia game is one of the best ways to entertain and educate children about various aspects of music while providing an interactive and enjoyable experience.
In addition, music trivia enhances their cognitive skills, memory retention, and problem-solving abilities. The activity strategically introduces the fourth graders to various musical genres, artists, and instruments, expanding their cultural knowledge and musical curiosity.
Moreover, trivia encourages teamwork and healthy competition while fostering a love for music. Overall, it’s a fascinating and educational approach for fourth graders to discover and value the world of music. In fact, we recommend adding this activity to your list of fun indoor games for kids.
Here are a few trivia ideas:
- What small wooden instrument do you shake to make a sound?
- What is Duke Ellington known for?
- What musical instrument is played by blowing air into it?
- Who composed the famous Symphony No. 5?
- What is the name of the person who conducts an orchestra?
- Who sang the famous song “Baby Shark”?
- Which singer is known for the song “Kids in a Candy Store”?
- What is the term for the musical symbols placed on a staff?
- What is the highest-pitched instrument in the orchestra?
2. Musical Bingo
Musical Bingo for elementary music classes enhances listening skills, develops musical knowledge, improves focus, promotes teamwork, encourages creativity, and fosters a love for music. It is an exciting way for the kids to engage with music while strengthening their cognitive and social skills.
Furthermore, research by the National Institutes shows that students who played Bingo-related games achieved higher grade points, regardless of the grade level or age group. In addition, the game increased course material interaction for the participating students. It is a great game for young students preparing for 5th grade.
Playing musical Bingo is simple; first, create a bingo card with musical symbols, instrument names, or musical statues. Second, play short musical excerpts or describe musical concepts and have students mark the corresponding spots on their bingo cards. The winner in each round is the first student to complete a row or column and yell, “Bingo!”
You can include the following words in the musical activity;
- Beat Harmony
3. Exploring Instrument Families
Instrument exploration for fourth graders allows students to discover various musical instruments and cultivate a personalized musical taste. Generally, the activity begins with the music teachers briefly introducing different instrument families, such as strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion, at different areas in the elementary classroom. The students will move from station to station getting hands-on experience with rhythm instruments like guitars, violins, flutes, trumpets, drums, and xylophones.
To encourage the kids to experiment with sound production and music composition, try different playing techniques, and ask questions. Through this interactive and engaging activity, fourth graders will develop a music appreciation, discover their preferences, and potentially ignite a lifelong passion for playing an instrument.
Alternatively, if you don’t have an array of musical instruments, you can provide pictures or flashcards of various instruments and ask students to categorize them into the correct family. This activity enhances their understanding of instrument classification and improves hand-eye coordination.
4. Music Puzzles
This article explains how puzzles impact a kid’s development, so it’s only fair to include this engaging music activity. Music puzzles for fourth graders include engaging activities that involve solving music-related challenges. The activities can vary from word jumbles and crosswords to guessing the song, fostering cognitive skills, music appreciation, and vocabulary expansion in a fun and interactive way.
In addition, successfully solving music puzzles gives students a sense of accomplishment and boosts their self-confidence. It reinforces their abilities, encouraging them to tackle more complex challenges and develop a positive attitude toward learning. Students explore cross-curricular connections integrating math, art, and language.
The best music puzzle ideas include:
- Musical Word Search: The kids will find hidden music-related words in a grid of letters. Example: Search for words like “melody,” “rhythm,” or “note.”
- Guess the Song: Ask the kids to listen to a short musical excerpt and identify the song title or artist. You can provide multiple-choice options to make it easier for them. Furthermore, you can improvise the activity and use sign language to describe instruments, and the students will name the musical masterpiece.
- Musical Crossword: They will fill in the blanks of a crossword puzzle using musical terms like “piano,” “violin,” or “conductor.”
- Musical Math: The fourth graders will solve the equation to discover the name of a musical instrument. Example: “4 + 3 =?” (Hint: It has six strings.)
- Word Jumble: Ask them to rearrange the letters to form the name of a famous musician or band. Example: “NOLEMOCOC” (Hint: They’re known for their famous kids’ channel on YouTube).
5. Rhythm Patterns
Rhythm pattern is an activity that highlights a combination of long and short sounds in music. They can be clapped, played on instruments, or created using body percussion. Understanding and practicing rhythm patterns helps develop a sense of timing and musicality in young learners.
The students will engage in clapping, composition, body percussion, and more to develop their rhythmic skills, understanding of note values, and ability to create and recognize patterns.
Here are some interactive rhythm pattern activities for fourth graders:
- Clap and Say: Create a rhythm pattern using basic note values like quarter and eighth notes. Clap and say the pattern aloud, emphasizing the rhythm.
- Rhythm Memory Game: Create pairs of cards with rhythm patterns written on them. Place the cards face down and have students flip them over in turns to find matching pairs of patterns.
- Rhythm Composition: Students can create basic rhythms using different note values and rests. They can perform their musical composition individually or in small groups.
- Rhythm Bingo: Create bingo cards with various rhythm patterns, and call out patterns using a metronome or clapping. Students mark the corresponding pattern on their cards.
- Body Percussion: Teach students rhythmic patterns that they can perform using their bodies as instruments, such as clapping hands, stomping feet, or patting their chests.
- Rhythm Dictation: Play a simple rhythm pattern on a percussion instrument, and have students write down the pattern using music notation.
6. Musical Scavenger Hunt
Musical scavenger hunt is an exciting yet simple game for fourth graders to explore the world of music. In this adventure, you will give the kids a list of musical items to find. The game aims to identify and locate objects related to different instruments and sounds. From pianos to guitars, flutes to tambourines, this interactive game encourages students to discover and engage with various musical elements while having fun.
Moreover, like all other activities,a musical scavenger hunt encourages active learning, critical thinking, and teamwork while nurturing a love for music. Ultimately, students develop a deeper appreciation for the art form by exploring different musical instruments and sounds. Additionally, the interactive experience enhances their creativity and problem-solving skills and encourages them to explore their musical talents.
Below are inclusive scavenger hunt ideas for the entire classroom. Find:
- A long, hollow tube that you blow into to make music
- A pair of wooden sticks that you can clap together
- A brass instrument with a shiny, bell-shaped end
- A small, handheld instrument you can tap together to create simple rhythms
- A wooden instrument with black and white keys that produces beautiful tunes
- An object you can shake to create a jingling sound
- A small, handheld percussion instrument that you strike with your fingers
- A string instrument that you pluck to make a sound
7. Group Singing
Lastly, encourage the fourth graders to sing together, dance, and highlight their favorite songs. Singing games promote social cohesion and a sense of belonging among students as they create harmonious sounds. It also encourages teamwork, cooperation, and mutual support, fostering a positive classroom atmosphere.
Vocal music can also improve communication skills and boost self-confidence and self-expression, allowing the kids to explore their creativity and different sounds and develop a sense of personal identity.
One fun group singing activity for fourth graders is “Pass the Song.” Divide the students into small groups of four or five. Give each group a fun song lyric sheet. The whole group starts singing the first line together. After a few seconds, the teacher or designated student signals for the groups to pass the song to the next group. Each group continues singing where the previous group left off.
Musical chairs is also a fun game where the kids perform the songs as their peers compete for the final chair. It is a funny and engaging activity that will elicit laughter in the elementary music classroom. However, ensure it is done in a safe environment, with plastic chairs and a carpeted floor.
Overall, all the music activities are perfect for fourth graders and will stimulate the brain and promote cognitive development. They also foster a love for music and lay the perfect foundation for professional development, where kids blossom into thriving musicians. So, encourage your fourth grader to step out of their shell and engage in the activities above.
The best part is all the activities are applicable in school and at home. However, if your fourth grader also exhibits talent in drawing and painting, our article on how well kids should draw will give your insight into their development. Have a look!