The Best AI Tools For Music Teachers

Discover the time-saving benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) for music educators. As AI revolutionizes education and the world, it offers a powerful ally to music teachers by streamlining administrative tasks, creating and personalizing instruction, and providing time-consuming research, which then frees up valuable time. Explore how AI empowers music educators to focus on what truly matters – nurturing musical talents and fostering creativity.

Let’s look into the time-saving and (hopefully) stress-reducing efficiency unlocked by AI and the many sites that will be available to us over the next few years.

Discover the time-saving benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) for music educators related to concert programming, unit planning, differentiation, curriculum, scaffolding, and classroom management.

Reminder: It’s ONLY a tool. Teachers should vet the information very carefully.

Generating Assessments

Multiple Choice

For guided reading or general information activities and assessments, use a multiple-choice format.

These can be used:

  • in hard-copy print
  • with devices using Google Forms, Kahoot!, Quizizz, Gimkit, canvas, Blooket, moodle, and more!

Printed Copies

Write this prompt. “Use the following article about Mozart to generate 10 multiple-choice questions. Give two printable copies, one with the correct answers annotated by placing a check mark (√) at the beginning of each correct response and one without. Add a list of the 10 correct responses for easy grading.” (add Mozart biography here)

This will work well in ChatGPT.

Video Assessment Creation

Type in a video URL and some AI models can generate questions. One example is the beta app twee. (see video and table below for more info)

Here is a multiple-choice example using a Ted-Ed video on brass instruments.

Review of AI Twee to create assessments. Discover the time-saving benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) for music educators.


twee also lets you type in (or have it generate) text and create a fill-in-the-blank assessment.

Review of AI Twee to create fill in the blank assessments. Discover the time-saving benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) for music educators.

Video Reviews

How to Generate the Best Responses

The best prompts for teachers for thorough and specific responses using AI Artificial Intelligence bots.

You can ask an AI bot a question and then ask them to clarify


you can FIRST ask them what they need to know to answer your query.


  • What do you need to know to provide me with…
  • What information do you need to write a thorough lesson on…
  • Give your request and add, “What else do you need to know?”

Here’s an example using ChatGPT: “I need a list of songs for an elementary music concert. What do you need to know to help with this list?”

Here’s Chat GPT’s answer (abridged to save space):

  1. Theme or purpose of the concert.
  2. Age or grade level of the students.
  3. Time duration of the concert.
  4. Musical style or genre preference.
  5. Performance format.
  6. Any specific songs already considered?
  7. Technical considerations: accompaniment, sheet music, or audio resources?
  8. Cultural or sensitivity considerations.

Here’s my new query using the bot’s suggestions.

I’d like a list of songs for an elementary music concert with a winter theme. The performers are in grades 1, 2, and 3. The concert will be 45 minutes in length. The music should be secular with a mix of upbeat and ballad styles. The students will be singing in large groups and mp3 accompaniments will need to be used. A couple of the songs should be very upbeat. I’d like the song titles, composers, and possible mp3 links.

Here’s the answer I received! (The links are only placeholders. DANG!)

  1. “Winter Wonderland” – Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith
    • MP3 Accompaniment: Link
  2. “Frosty the Snowman” – Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins
    • MP3 Accompaniment: Link
  3. “Jingle Bell Rock” – Joe Beal and Jim Boothe
    • MP3 Accompaniment: Link
  4. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” – Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn
    • MP3 Accompaniment: Link
  5. “Snowflakes” – Teresa Jennings
    • MP3 Accompaniment: Link
  6. “Winter, Winter” – Linda Spevacek
    • MP3 Accompaniment: Link
  7. “Winter Sleigh Ride” – John Jacobson and Mac Huff
    • MP3 Accompaniment: Link
  8. “Chilly Winds” – Teresa Jennings
    • MP3 Accompaniment: Link
  9. “Snow Is Falling” – John Riggio
    • MP3 Accompaniment: Link
  10. “Winter Lullaby” – Mary Donnelly and George L.O. Strid
    • MP3 Accompaniment: Link

I then asked:

That’s a great list. Can you give me ten more songs that would fit with my parameters?

Certainly! Here are ten more songs that fit the parameters of your elementary music concert about winter:

  1. “Jingle Bells” – James Lord Pierpont
  2. “Up on the Housetop” – Benjamin Hanby
  3. “The Snow Is Dancing” – Claude Debussy
  4. “Winter Fantasy” – John Higgins
  5. “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” – Irving Berlin
  6. “Snow Day” – Justin Roberts
  7. “Winter’s Waking” – Amy F. Bernon
  8. “Sleigh Ride” – Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish
  9. “The Winter Song” – Sarah Quartel
  10. “Winterlude” – Neil Young

Growing List of AI Sites

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How to Use Fairy Tales in the Music Classroom

Fairy tales are great tools for vocal, instrumental, and movement exploration for all students in the music classroom. From simple storytelling to a story with sound effects to a grand production, fairy tales are engaging and capture the imagination.

Start with the story, add body percussion, vocal sound effects, and then transfer to instruments. See the tables below as examples.

Fairy Tales lesson plans, ideas, and uses in the music classroom.
Continue reading “How to Use Fairy Tales in the Music Classroom”

How to Use “We Shall Not Be Moved” In the Classroom

“We Shall Not Be Moved” transforms itself into a song to remember Black History, Civil Rights, freedom rights around the world, and the power of music with its simplistic style perfect for learning in the music classroom. Perfect for exploring in class or performances, and easily integrated into-

  • Black History Month,
  • Women’s History Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Juneteenth
  • Civil Rights Lessons
  • World History

Table of Contents

  1. Protest & Spiritual Black History Song w/Orff Arr. on TPT
  2. Origins of the Song
    1. African-American Spiritual
    2. Early 20th Century
    3. 1930s Labor Rights Song
    4. “I Shall Not” to “We Shall Not”
    5. Union Song to FREEDOM Song
      1. The Freedom Singers at the March on Washington, 1963
    6. The Benefit of Protest Songs
      1. Mavis Staples
    7. “No Nos Moverán”
      1. No Nos Moverán with Joan Báez
    8. The Song Travels Around the World
  3. Summary
  4. Verses
  5. Performance Videos
    1. Mississippi John Hurt
    2. Rhiannon Giddens
  6. Books to Reference
  7. References
Continue reading “How to Use “We Shall Not Be Moved” In the Classroom”

Nutcracker Activities for Music | Tried, True, and New

Here are some favorite lesson plans and activities for the music classroom to teach The Nutcracker Ballet plus some NEW resources to spark life into our teaching of this perennial classic.

On this page…

  1. Chinese Tea Dance ORFF Lesson Activities (Movement, Instrumental Arrangement)
    1. Tea Dance Video
  2. Cultural Stereotypes in the Nutcracker
  3. Books
  4. Nutcracker Museum
  5. Lesson Ideas
    1. Unit of Study (in progress)
    2. March | Stretchy Bands
    3. Trepak | Plate Routine
    4. Sugar Plum Fairy | Movement with Mr. DelGaudio
    5. Waltz of the Flowers
  6. Ballet Videos
    1. Full-length Ballet (Central Florida Ballet)
    2. Hip Hop Nutcracker on PBS
    3. Hip Hop Nutcracker (Disney+ Excerpt)

Chinese Tea Dance ORFF Lesson Activities (Movement, Instrumental Arrangement)

With its call and response form, this is the perfect barred instrument activity for December! PLUS, movement ideas using partners and the whole class with and without props! Ribbon sticks/wands, scarves, partner parachutes, and a classroom parachute!

Tea Dance Video

Cultural Stereotypes in the Nutcracker

Each performance of the Nutcracker uses an artistic director who helps determine the costuming, dancing, makeup, and scenery for the ballet. The ballet dates back to a time when ethnic caricatures were standard practice in the performances. This is particularly true in Act II with the dances related to the Chinese, Arabian, Russian, and Spanish dances.

As music specialists, this is important to take into consideration if we choose to use videos in our teaching. Read more.

Here’s an excellent interview on NPR about “Rethinking Cultural Stereotypes in The Nutcracker.”


Nutcracker Museum

At this school, students were asked to bring in a family Nutcracker and were put into this fun Nutcracker Museum display! (Remember to have the student’s name and room clearly labeled.)

Add this to your end-of-year evaluation Danielson (or similar) Domain 1b: Teacher-designed opportunities for families to share their heritages.

Lesson Ideas

Unit of Study (in progress)

  • K-1 Read a book about ballet and a book about The Nutcracker
  • K-1 Learn a movement routine to the March
  • Grades 2-3

March | Stretchy Bands

Trepak | Plate Routine

Sugar Plum Fairy | Movement with Mr. DelGaudio

Waltz of the Flowers

Ballet Videos

Full-length Ballet (Central Florida Ballet)

Hip Hop Nutcracker on PBS

This performance is on PBS and you may need to confirm your local PBS station.

Hip Hop Nutcracker (Disney+ Excerpt)

Build a House Book Review With Lesson Plans for Music

Integrate literature into the music class with these lesson plans for Build a House by Rhiannon Giddens and illustrated by Monica Mikai. This book is based on the song of the same name and is the story of what happened to enslaved Africans after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Continue reading “Build a House Book Review With Lesson Plans for Music”

Indigenous American Resources

  1. At My School
  2. Music Workshop
  3. Native Land
  4. Crow | The Legend
  5. Ojibwe Powwow Dancing
  6. Powwow Dancing
  7. Hoop Dance from Winnepeg Canada
  8. Powwow Child Grass Dancer

There is no single American Indian culture or language. Researching tribes in your own area is the best way to learn about and honor Native Americans. Each tribe has its own unique traditions, history, and terminology.

At My School

When we know better, we do better.

Doing better was researching my local tribes. I did Google searches and searched on YouTube. I eventually found a YouTube video that was of a powwow in my area with a link to a culture bearer. I was able to contact that person and after some conversations back and forth, he gave me a drumming piece.

My guidelines from him were the same as what I read everywhere, that teaching without background, meaning, and significance is wrong. I’ve never shared this resource because my conversations back and forth with the culture bearer were like a mini-workshop and allowed me to learn from him all about the above-mentioned particulars.

When I brought the activity to the kids, it was with all of the information that I had been given and was a meaningful learning experience for them. I’m forever grateful that he took the time, trusted me, and gave me this precious part of his tribe’s culture.

Music Workshop

This is a (free) subscriber site and has full lesson plans, videos, and resources.

Native Land

Information about Native lands and Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages including a teacher guide, searchable map, and other resources.

Crow | The Legend

Crow: The Legend is an exciting new animated movie starring John Legend as Crow, the most popular and admired animal in the forest with his magnificent colors and beautiful voice. But when the very first winter arrives, can Crow make the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends?

Inspired by the original Native American legend, this story of sacrifice and community features Randy Edmonds, Kiowa-Caddo tribal elder and founder of the National Urban Indian Council as Narrator and Sarah Eagle Heart, CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy, as Luna.

Ojibwe Powwow Dancing

A tutorial on the dress and steps and meaning in powwow dancing.

Powwow Dancing

A short demonstration by a young dancer with information on the regalia, meaning, and steps of powwow dancing.

Hoop Dance from Winnepeg Canada

Not sure of the tribe but this reiterates the one-two steps in the powwow dance above along with hoops, accompanied by drum and singer.

Powwow Child Grass Dancer

From the Manito Ahbee Festival, the site says, “The Manito Ahbee sacred site is located in the western Whiteshell area of Manitoba.  Manito Ahbee, an Ojibway word means, “where the Creator sits.” The site is recognized and honoured by Indigenous peoples across North America as a sacred place for all people. The name of the province, Manitoba, is itself derived from the name of this sacred site.”

Songs and Dances From Culture Bearers and Authentic Sources

It’s been eye-opening to find that much of the music I used in my 40-year career was NOT authentic and/or had a questionable past. Unfortunately, many educators are still using these same songs and dances. This page is my aim to give you resources that I’ve researched or from sources who aim to research with the same authentic goal. However…

…our job requires much more than the planning time we are given. In your haste to get things done, don’t trust someone’s say-so, even mine. Always do your research.

On this GROWING resource page…

French-Canadian Traditional Music

Use of the most common traditional rhythm by the ancestors from Quebec is the podorythmie & cuillères (foot tapping & spoons). The music is Reel Turluté performed by La Bolduc. La Bolduc was a famous French-Canadian singer.

The singing technique is called jigging.

West Africa

Sona Jobarteh, Gambia, West Africa, and the Kora

Sona Jobarteh has become one of the most renowned kora players in the world, an instrument that traditionally was only played by men. The kora is an instrument of West Africa and dates back to the 13th-century Mali empire.

Sona’s academy focused on learning through Gambian culture, not a colonial focus. Lots of info here on Gambian music and arts culture.


Global Variety

A. Cuthbertson Consulting-Authentic Resources in the Classroom

This website is dedicated to culturally responsive music and lesson plans for your classroom. A. Cuthbertson’s site has music from many different cultures.


Bhangra – Dance of the Punjab with Gurdeep Pandher

Native Land

Information about Native lands and Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages including a teacher guide, searchable map, and other resources.


Aboriginal Australian Songlines

Some authentic sources for songlines, art, and music.

Latinx Heritage Resources

For any time of the year, but collated for Latinx Hispanic Heritage Month, a growing group of resources.

Black History Resources

For any time of the year, but collated for Black History Month, a growing group of resources.

Literature With Cultural Variety

A growing list of literature for the music classroom with a wide variety of cultures represented.

The Mitten

Many of us are familiar with the Jan Brett book, but this 
Ukrainian folk tale has a very interesting history! Here are songs, lesson plans, and resources for the beautiful story.
Continue reading “The Mitten”

How-to Guides for Teacher Planners, Curriculum, and More

Finding a great teacher planner is SO hard! Here’s a different approach that puts all of your resources in ONE location. No tabs, bookmarks, or folders but everything in one master document. It works in both Microsoft Word and Google Docs and because it’s digital, it follows you everywhere.

Image describes page resource for teacher planners and curriculum.

Digital Planner for Microsoft Word & Google Doc

Master File Planner Instructions DOWNLOADS

These downloads will make MUCH more sense after watching the above video.

Microsoft Word

Google Docs

Join the hundreds of other teachers who receive the Oodles Newsletter every Monday morning with timely tips like this digital planner to help you in your teaching!

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The Best Children’s Literature for the Music Classroom

A list of books from newly published to classics for the music classroom with links, music connections, activities, and lesson plans!

If you are looking for captivating books that seamlessly blend literature and music in your classroom, look no further! This e-x-p-a-n-d-i-n-g list of recommended books will provide musical connections information and valuable lesson plan ideas. Whether you’re seeking to expand your library or searching for fresh ideas to enrich your music curriculum, find great ways to integrate literature into your music curriculum.

Table of Contents

Continue reading “The Best Children’s Literature for the Music Classroom”