Discovering Melody and Rhythm: Substitute Music Lessons for Middle School

Substitute music lessons for middle school present an exciting opportunity to ignite students’ passion for music and nurture their musical talents. Whether you are stepping in as a substitute teacher or preparing for a planned absence, having a collection of easy and engaging activities is essential to keep the students engaged and enthusiastic about music. In this blog post, we will explore some creative and enjoyable substitute music lessons specially tailored for middle school students, fostering their love for music and fostering a deeper understanding of musical concepts.

Easy Substitute Music Lessons for Middle School:

  1. Music Listening and Analysis:

One of the most captivating substitute music lessons for middle school is music listening and analysis. Choose a diverse selection of musical genres and styles, including classical, jazz, pop, and world music. Play short excerpts of each piece and encourage the students to actively listen for elements such as melody, rhythm, dynamics, and instrumentation. Lead a discussion about the emotions and images evoked by the music, as well as the cultural influences behind each piece. This activity enhances their critical listening skills and expands their musical horizons.

  1. Songwriting Workshop:

Engage the students’ creativity with a songwriting workshop as a substitute music lesson for middle school. Begin by discussing the basic structure of a song, including verses, choruses, and bridges. Encourage the students to write lyrics based on personal experiences, emotions, or a given theme. Provide chord progressions on a keyboard or guitar for the students to experiment with. As they work on their songs, offer guidance and support to help them shape their ideas into musical compositions. This activity not only develops their songwriting abilities but also empowers them to express their thoughts and feelings through music.

  1. Music and Movement:

Incorporate movement and dance into a substitute music lesson for middle school. Choose energetic and rhythmic pieces of music and encourage the students to move and dance freely. Guide them in exploring different dance styles and patterns, using the music’s tempo and dynamics as inspiration. This activity not only promotes physical fitness but also allows the students to connect with the music on a visceral level, enhancing their understanding of rhythm and expression.

  1. Music Technology and Digital Composition:

Introduce the students to music technology in this substitute music lesson for middle school. Familiarize them with digital audio workstations (DAWs) and composition software. Allow the students to experiment with virtual instruments, loops, and recording features to create their own digital compositions. This activity enhances their understanding of music production and the role of technology in modern music-making.


Substitute music lessons for middle school are an exciting opportunity to cultivate students’ musical curiosity and creativity. Activities like music listening and analysis, songwriting workshops, music and movement, and music technology exploration cater to the diverse interests and abilities of middle school students. These substitute lessons not only entertain the students but also foster a deeper appreciation for the power of music as a means of expression and communication.

So, the next time you step into a middle school music class as a substitute teacher, remember to incorporate these engaging and interactive activities – they are sure to captivate the students’ imagination and leave a lasting impression. Embrace the enthusiasm and energy of your middle school students, and watch as they blossom into confident and expressive musicians through these enjoyable substitute music lessons. Substitute music Lessons for middle school are more than just filling in for the regular teacher; they are an opportunity to inspire and nurture a lifelong love for music in the hearts of the students.

For resources to support your music classroom click here to browse the full list.

Get Weekly Music Tips

Join 20,000+ Teachers, Senior Leaders & Lecturers

Music teaching tips direct to your inbox

We'll only ever send you music tips, as per our Privacy Policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *