Free Beginner’s Music Curriculum: Learning Notes, Rhythm, Music Notation and More!

Homeschool-Music-CurriculumI had a realization recently.  While the kids can play pieces on the piano, they cannot read music! So, the plan is to slowly but surely make sure they learn and build on those skills. I hope they learn at least two octaves of notes and their corresponding location on the piano/keyboard. I also want them to learn some of the basic music symbols and music notation.

I gathered a lot of materials and put together a music action plan!  I wrote out 8 or 9 weeks of quick music lessons.  This will be in addition to the time we sit together at the piano.  The girls also want to learn the recorder this semester – so these lessons will hopefully help with that as well.

I created weekly plans with the games and worksheets to work on the material.

Beginner Music Curriculum - Games Activities Worksheets for Elementary

Below is the free PDF of what we will be doing for our music curriculum this fall. The PDF outlines some of the worksheets, matching cards, rhythm materials, sight reading activities, etc. we will use. Feel free to use our basic plan or purchase our entire Music Curriculum including all the worksheets, games and activities with the link below.

My kids have a basic understanding of music, so we are not starting from zero. We also will use so of the fun material from The Big Book of Music Games, Grades K – 5 (affiliate Link) this semester.

In the PDF I’ll share below, shows how we’ll use these music worksheets and music games each week, but I’ll give you a glimpse of the materials I printed out recently.

How to Read Music: Beginning Activities for Kids

To start with, we will use sheets where the kids can fill in the notes on the staff. Plus, we’ll use the Bug Swatting Game (I’ll call out a note, kids will wack the card with a wood spoon!) These activities are included in our Music Activities Packet (though not in the outline).

How to Read Music - Activities for Kids

Update: I have now created a HUGE packet of music games and activities. See more details below.

Beginner Music Curriculum Games and Activities

I like the colorful matching cards sets and we’ll definitely be using these as well. 🙂 Candy Corn Cards and Ice Cream Cards from Layton Music (these are free at their website!)

learn-music-notes-and-keyboard-positionsThen over the course of the semester we’ll add in other worksheets, building on their knowledge of rhythm and making sure the kids can build their sight reading skills.

Music Activities for Beginners

We’ll play some of the bingo games for learning about music notation. There is an easy and a more challenging game with different music terms and notation.

Music Symbol Activities

I had the kids do a number of different activities to learn the notes on the piano and music notes on the staff.

Music Activities for Learning the Notes

We will also be using The Big Book of Music Games, Grades K – 5. (Affiliate Link) This is a great resource for learning music symbols & notes. It is NOT a book for playing musical games like singing games or group games (such as square dancing type activities), but is absolutely perfect for our purposes (learning notes, various music symbols, learning about intervals, etc.). This book of more than 275 pages of games and activities you can photocopy.

Big-Book-of-Music-GamesBelow is the rough outline of our Homeschool Music Curriculum Plans. The download is free. It is the OUTLINE of the Music Curriculum I put together for the kids. Hopefully, I have it planned out well enough that I can just grab the materials and GO! There’s also a daily music practice chart. This packet is about 40 pages or so.

Below this FREE PDF is a link to the FULL Music Curriculum Packet and Music Activities Packet. Keep scrolling for more information.

Music Curriculum Overview

Click the link or picture for the free PDF: Music Curriculum for Beginners – Free Overview PDF


Music Curriculum Packets

Click the Add to Cart button below to purchase our Music Curriculum. Our packets are PDF digital downloads.

With your purchase you will receive two PDF files. The Music Curriculum Packet has the weekly plans and worksheets.  The Music Activity Packet includes printable keyboards, music notes, games and other activities.

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link! The link will come from SendOwl (the automatic delivery service I use).

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me! ~Liesl

  $8.99 Music Curriculum Packets (200+pages)- This purchase is for TWO PDFs. The full Music Curriculum Packet (125+pages) with music practice worksheets. Plus the Music Activities Packet with 100 pages of games and activities.

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link!

Music Curriculum for Beginners with worksheets activities games

P.S. We loved the colorful matching cards sets from Layton Music and recommend these. 🙂 They are free to download (in Sept. 2023) Candy Corn Cards and Ice Cream Cards.


And just before I go, a couple of other music books we’ve used fairly regularly through the years. The first is Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music  (affiliate link) which has very short descriptions of the major composers (from Vivaldi and Back to Copland and Bernstein). It highlights the orchestra instruments. It comes with a CD with 37 selections from many of those famous composers (about an hour). I *really* like the CD.

Story-of-the-OrchestraThe other book I like a lot is Carnival of the Animals: Classical Music for Kids.(affiliate link) Each animal had its own special music and the book is a wonderful companion to the CD. Did you know the famous French composer, Saint-Saens. wrote this famous musical as a joke for his students?  It become one of his most famous and well known pieces of music. The book highlights the animal’s instrument you hear in each piece. My kids have enjoyed both of these books immensely through the years.


That’s about it for now. Hope someone else finds this helpful.


Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

Follow our Musical Journey in Pictures this Semester:

P.S. You might be interested in these related notes. These are also free!



One last thing before I go, DD decided she wanted to learn flute this year. (Actually, she wanted to play last year, but we couldn’t make it happen.)  We had a local flute teacher lined up, but then that fell through I started googling for local lessons.  As I was hunting around, I came across a site called Take Lessons which allows you to arrange lessons through Skype.  I thought we would give that a try because it saves us from driving/waiting and all that.

DD absolutely LOVES her flute teacher, Sarah F!!  DD has her lessons via Skype for a half an hour. She can actually get notes out (no small feat on the flute!) and can play a couple of easy pieces (She’s had 5 lessons.)  We are incredibly happy with the lessons. And having the lessons via Skype is working out well. We highly recommend DD’s teacher, Sarah, and the Take Lessons platform in general.  You can arrange for lessons not only for musical instruments but for languages, math, and other subjects.   (I am not an affiliate for Take Lessons, but I wanted to mention this option because I thought other homeschoolers might find this convenient too!).   DD’s (wonderful) teacher, Sarah, is currently taking on new students (as of Oct. 2015). Here is a link to Sarah F on or click on the photo below.

Flute-Lessons-take-lessonsI am not an affiliate for Take Lessons, but the platform has worked really well for our family. :)

7 Responses

  1. David Jozaities says:

    Looks great!

  2. Danielle Carr says:

    I cannot for the life of me figure out how to download and/or purchase your music packet. I click on things and it takes me to a lot of stories and pictures and info or other pages telling me the same thing. I am very lost on your site. I was hoping to get some basic music printables for a homeschool band I teach and this seems like a really great resource if I can find it! Help! Thanks!

    • homeschooldenadmin says:

      Hi Danielle,
      There’s a lot on my site, that’s for sure. The link you want is part way down through the post. It says “Music Curriculum for Beginners” and when you click on that or the picture below it, it will bring up the pdf which is FREE to download. Here is the direct link, just to make absolutely sure you can access the pdf!! 🙂 It obviously isn’t in the store area because it’s free. Remember that many of the printables/activities (photos) you see (for the music curriculum) were from other sites. Hopefully the links I gave you in that pdf are still working since it has been a while since we did this unit! Hope that helped. Have a wonderful time with your unit this semester!! ~Liesl P.S. A weird thing about my blog is that most of the links are green. That stems from the days that I was writing under Parents Magazine’s umbrella… and since that’s something behind the scenes, I don’t really know how to fix it and never bothered trying to ask my computer-expert Hubby or anyone else to fix it!!

  3. Lolly says:

    This was quite helpful

  1. September 9, 2015

    […] to teach your kids about music notes, rhythm, music notation and music theory? Be sure to grab this Free 15-page Music Curriculum put together by Liesl over at the Homeschool Den for her elementary age kids. It is designed for […]

  2. September 18, 2015

    […] Here is a FREE 15 Page Music Curriculum (Notes, Rhythm and More!). […]

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