Musical instruments in the preschool classroom

There are a variety of ways you can use musical instruments in the classroom.

Create a music center and try adding…

  • Baskets of musical instruments
  • A CD Player
  • A pretend microphone
  • A mirror
  • A little platform for a stage (square)
  • Posters and books about music, composers, notes, and nursery rhymes.
  • Staple together little books of notation paper and add drawing tools for children to create their own songs.
  • Baskets of movement props like paper plates, ribbon sticks, and scarves.
  • Home made instruments: Check out these awesome homemade drums and drumming activities from Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning!
  • See this music book from Fleet of Fun
Music Box

Create a music box. Choose a different type of instrument to put in the music box each week. If you choose to use a music box – make sure you have plenty of instruments to go around because it will be a big hit.

Rhythm Stick



In your circle time, add musical instruments to a familiar song. Here are a few examples:

  • Add a rainstick to the song “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.  Let the children shake the rain stick back and forth to make the sound of the rain.
  • Add a rythm stick for tapping noises to songs like “Johnny Works with One Hammer” or “One Little Hammer Went Tap Tap Tap!”
  • Add instruments to songs like … “If you’re happy and you know it” (ring a bell) (tap a drum) (shake a maraca).
Telling stories

Try adding musical sound effects when retelling favorite stories or making up new ones.  For example, “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear?  I hear a tambourine shaking in my ear!”

Instead of children telling you a story – try having them dictate to you a song.


Instrument Games
Play an instrument and see if the children can guess what it is.
How else do you use musical instruments in your classroom?
By |2010-02-20T12:52:58+00:00February 20th, 2010|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.

Leave A Comment

This site uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using the website means you're OK with this. Ok