Back-to-school season is in full swing, so it's time to start thinking about fun and engaging activities to liven up your middle school music classroom! As middle school and college teachers, we know how important it is to break the summer ice in a fun and meaningful way. We also know how picky our students are when it comes to doing things that are too silly or "elementary", so planning those perfect back-to-school icebreakers is quite a challenge!
Here are six MORE icebreakers to the rescue (check out last year's edition for even more ideas) to help high school music students get to know each other better, learn names, Trending songs in Nigeria brush up on their musical brains, and start the new year building community! All have been time tested in my middle school classroom and I hope your students love them as much as mine do!
#1: The Clap Game
I'm sure many of you are familiar with the classic music classroom icebreaker game Pass the Beat, but if you're looking for something more challenging to do with your older or more advanced students, you'll love the Clapping Game.
It works like this:
Students will start in a circle and take turns to the rhythm of the room. However, the type of rhythm the student claps will determine where it goes.
The letter "Ta" sends a punch to the person forward.
"Ti-Ti" sends the beat backwards.
"Tika-Ti" causes the beat to skip a person in the same direction.
Students are off when students are not accurate, clap when they shouldn't, or don't clap when they should. The game continues until there is only one student left.
#2: Juggling name
It's an amazing game that will help you learn names, focus and laugh.
To play, you'll need three different colored, soft balls (see if you can borrow some foam dodge balls from your PE teacher) as well as some fun, random items from your classroom:
Students form a circle and all raise their hands to indicate that they have not yet caught the ball.
The teacher throws the ball to someone with a raised hand by saying their name.
That person throws it to another person by announcing their name and throwing the ball across the circle.
When someone gets the ball, they will keep their hand down until the ball goes across the circle to whoever has their hand up.
#3: Body Percussion Warm-Up
This is a great icebreaker in the music classroom in that it's not a traditional "Let Me Learn Your Name" game, but a simple let's make something musical (rhythmic) game together.