Lesson Plan

Different Take on a Piano App.....

Using Pluto Learns Piano HD to teach students how to read music, with Boomwhackers.
Michelle L.
Technology Integration Specialist
Rowlesburg School
Rowlesburg, WV
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness

Students will be able to...

Understand how to wait for their turn

Understand the flow of a musical piece

Understand how to play a boomwhacker correctly

Understand how their boomwhacker fits within the musical piece

Understand basic note reading in a composition.


WV Music Standards:

Students will:  sing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music; and perform on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

Perform syncopated patterns.

Play melodic patterns from notation

Grades 1 - 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Pre-Teach/Presentation

Activity: Presenting

This lesson is more of a unit then a lesson.  From these notes a general classroom teacher (with some music training) should be able to teach this topic.

Previous to this lesson the students should have a basic understanding of the notes on the treble clef staff.

This was done using an app that is not listed on Graphite called "Rainbow Notes"  

Introduce the boomwhackers by displaying a simple set in scale order.  The standard set of boomwhackers are one octave in range and start at Middle C.

Demonstrate the sound of each boomwhacker and relate this to where they are placed on the treble clef.

Pass out enough boomwhackers so at least each note in the C Major scale (standard set of boomwhackers) is covered.  If it is a large class you will need several sets.  Having students pre-assgined a boomwhacker will speed up this process.

Practice with students playing the C Major scale by first speaking the notes, then write the notes on a staff.  The students usually grasp the use of boomwhackers fairly quickly.

Student Instructions

Student will pickup their boomwhackers and sit in note order.  

Students wil only strike their boomwhacker when instructed to do so.

2 Introducing the App - Guided Practice

Before giving the students boomwhackers to play along with the app the teacher might want to do a class period of showing the students how the app works.  Select several students to try the app to see how easy/hard it is to play.  Most students are surprised by how difficult the game is to play.

Teacher should assign boomwhackers to students before playing along with the app.

Depending on the situation and ability of the students, the class may choose what song to learn first with the boomwhackers.

If the teacher is choosing the first song it would be best to use "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" since it uses the fewest notes.  

Student Instructions

The goal of the app is to play the song correctly by not "swimming" into the wrong notes.  

3 Using Boomwhackers with Pluto Learns Piano HD

Teacher/students have determined ahead of time what song will be learned.  The teacher will assign boomwhackers to the students based on the chosen song.

Boomwhackers will be handed out and students will sit with their "group" (same size/color boomwhackers).

The teacher will move Pluto to the song while students play the boomwhackers.  Students will take several times of playing the song before they become comfortable.

Depending on the age group/ability/time, at least two songs should be played during class time.  

4 Wrap up/Where do you go from here?

Activity: Other — What else can you do?

Over weeks (or months) depending on the music schedule. The students will add songs to their repertoire. 

Possibly this could be performed for another class or used in a concert performance.