St. Patrick's Day in the Music Room

08 March, 2016

Since St. Patrick's Day is around the corner, today I'm blogging about some fun activities you can do in your classroom this time of year, to celebrate the holiday as well as Irish culture!

St. Patrick's Day in the Music Room: Lots of ideas for St. Patrick's Day and Irish music for your music lessons!

Irish folk songs
This time of a year is a great time to sing Irish folk songs with your students! Here are some great sites for finding Irish folk songs:
(to find Irish and/or Irish-American music, go to "origin")

Irish dances
One of my favorite folk dances is "Brian Boru," an Irish dance in  "Teaching Movement and Dance." Another Irish folk dance called "The Bridge of Athlone" can be found in "Listen to the Mockingbird" by the New England Dancing Masters. Both of these resources are GREAT for any time of the year, though, as they contain tons of easy-to-teach dances for your music classroom!

Listening and responding to pieces and dances
Whether students are listening to Celtic music or watching Irish dancing, students can respond with what they notice, what they wonder, what they like, etc. Perhaps you could use a recording already in your collection, or watch a video like this:

You can ask students what they notice, which instruments they hear, what the mood sounds like, etc.

St. Patrick's Day games
There are tons of interactive games on TpT for rhythmic and melodic concepts! I just discovered this fun set by Amy Abbott, which has students read melodic patterns...but watch out, the leprechaun might pull a prank!

I created a game called "Help the Leprechaun," which has students identifying rhythmic patterns (this works great as an assessment!)

And my Pot o' Gold games are great for identifying lines and/or spaces on the treble clef staff!

To put movement into any St. Patrick's Day lesson, you could simply play freeze dance to any Irish music! When the music starts, students dance, but when the music stops, students have to freeze like a statue, or they are out!
If you want visuals for freeze dance, check out these sets:

Lindsay Jervis' Freeze Dance

Tracy King's Freeze Dance and Creative Movement  

My "Songs and Activities for St. Patrick's Day," which includes a movement activity with shamrocks...when students freeze, they have to find another shamrock and move like the shamrock tells them!

Looking for more St. Patrick's Day ideas? Check out this new St. Patrick's Day in the Music Room Pinterest board I created!

What are your favorite St. Patrick's day activities for the music room? Feel free to comment below, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!


  1. Thanks for the shout out! I'm off to check out a couple of those folk songs! :-)

  2. Thanks so much for compiling this set of resources! We included it in our post on exploring and learning Irish music for St. Patrick's day, which also includes a bunch of resources of related apps and approaches to learning Irish folk music:

  3. Thanks for all of the great ideas and for sharing a link to my freeze dance set! :)


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