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Let the Games Begin!

Updated: Feb 19


The 2024 Summer Paris Olympics are fast approaching with the games officially kicking off on July 26 with the Opening Ceremonies. This year's Summer Olympics will feature 329 medal events across 32 different sports, with the newest sport added being breaking, an urban dance style originating in New York City, and over 10,000 athletes who are expected to compete from across 206 nations. As we look for activities to do in our classroom, after returning from that much needed Winter Break and holiday and from the amazing buzz and inspiration that is our FMEA/FEMEA Conference, why not create a Music Summer Olympics in our classrooms!

  1. Have students actively listen to the various National Anthems of the countries or nations represented by the athletes.  As they listen they could find the steady beat or show the melodic contour.  Students could talk about the tempo or the energy or the instrumentation of the music that they are hearing.  Students could even research about an athlete from a specific country or nation so that when the games are on later during the summer they can make that connection and be that more immersed or invested within the games.

  2. Learn about the Origins of the Summer Olympics or the Games of the Olympiad, in Athens in the Summer of 1896 and have the students answer follow up questions.  

  3. Have students break off into teams or “nations” and create their own flags to represent themselves. Students can be reminded that a flag often incorporates a history of some sort or tells a story of the place it represents. The flag should be easily recognizable at a distance and is usually relatively simple.

  4.  Create your own Music Summer Olympic Events:

  • Music Theory Baseball-Divide your students into two teams. When up to bat, students could identify rhythms, notes, solfege, definitions. If answered correctly before the third strike, the luck of the die determines their base.  (1-1st, 2-2nd, 3-3rd, 4 and 5-out, 6-Home Run). Play until 3 outs for the team and then switch. Sure to be a hit!

  • Steady Beat Surfing-Have students keep the steady beat to classic surf music and see if they can keep their boards afloat!

  • Synchronized Swimming-Have your students create a synchronized routine to the Olympic Fanfare or perhaps to a song of their own choice in their nations.  Have them create sketches or plans of their designs and movements.

  • Rhythm Stick Relay-Students take turns listening for rhythms and retrieve the corresponding rhythm card as fast as they can.

Connecting current events into our music curriculum is a great way to connect to our students and to build relationships, and it’s always something fun and different!  

Wishing you all the best! Have a great rest of your school year!

Jess Gronberg

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