Skip to Content

Ideas for Developing Lessons Units and Projects

The following lesson ideas can serve as starting points or springboards to develop your own lessons, units, or projects around the music and ideas of #StCeciliasDay. We welcome additional ideas and resources in the comment section below! Consider adapting them for your own context to engage people of all ages! 

High School Choir 

(coming soon)

Middle School General Music or Ensembles

Squishy Collage Mini Classroom Project Idea

Generative Questions:

What are the ways music inspires us?

How can music change the way we experience the written word?


The students will bring to class an object that represents either the concept of inspiration, a specific time when they were inspired, or a historical example of inspiration through music. (i.e. spirituals, work songs, or wartime music). Then, the students will record short musical compositions or sounds that accompany one of the following 5 parts of the poem. Each student must select a different part of the text.

“To all musicians”

“appear and inspire”

“Translated Daughter”

“come down and startle”

“Composing mortals with immortal fire.”

Students will create a collage that responds to human touch by using squishy circuits material to connect each object to a Makey Makey. The Makey Makey would be connected to a laptop using software such as Soundplant. One of the students would assign the recorded samples to the appropriate keys connected to the Makey Makey. The students would work together to create a collection of objects that respond to touch by playing music recorded by the individuals associated with the objects. Each object would also be connected to a specific part of the text with a visual representation next to it or spoken before it.

Small groups of 5

Student Roles/Tasks

  • Connect objects with conductive material (squishy circuits)
  • Record sounds and transfer them to a laptop with Soundplant
  • Connect Makey Makeys to laptop
  • Create visual art piece that includes the text of the poem
  • Scribe

Elementary Grade Listening and Discussion

Generative Questions:

What can music make us want to do?

How does music make us feel?


We will discuss how music can make us feel, listing words on a Wordwall projected onto the screen or smartboard (use dry erase board if tech not available). We will listen to the first section of the Hymn to St. Cecilia, inputting words that describe how the music made students feel on a Wordwall. Then we will do the same for the second part of the song, and compare/contrast/discuss the differences in descriptors between the two sections.

In small groups of 4-5, listen to the entire piece again, section by section, the students will create a story based on the music they hear. Over the span of two to three classes, students will create a presentation of their story in the form of Shadowscreen dance with spoken words. If technology is not available to project shadows, students may create a short skit based on their story.

Design your own music celebration project idea using the following prompt:

  • How can musical celebration transform our sense of place, belonging, and community?


One thought on “#StCeciliasDay Lesson Ideas

  1. After reading a very interesting article related to teaching music to elementary classes, your site was included as a resource for finding other lesson ideas. Either that was misinformation or it isn’t easy to find on your website. This page appears to be the only lesson ideas I can find here.

Leave a Reply

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