Attend a concert
Professional touring musicians, local school bands, church choirs, and weekly concerts in the park all expose students to a variety of experienced and amateur musicians. Each can inspire and motivate students to continue their own music education or pick up an instrument for the first time. Let your students enjoy and take in the beautiful sounds as an audience member. Not only will they be exposed to the power of music, they’ll also practice being an audience member and learn how to appropriately appreciate each musician’s talent.
Catch a sports halftime show
Sports halftime shows are entertaining. Have students focus on the precision and choreography of the marching bands and dance troops. Ask students to think about the kind of music performers play or dance to and what affect that has on the audience. It will be a good time had by all!
Watch a dance performance
A dance performance appeals to the eyes and ears and may inspire students to move like the dancers they watch. Similar to taking in a halftime show, students should focus on how the music enhances the dance performance and the feelings it creates.
Go to a recording studio
Think of Jay-Z or Taylor Swift in the recording studio. What musician or future artist doesn’t dream of recording his or her music. If you live near a recording studio, tour the facility. The equipment and huge sound boards with lots of buttons and knobs are tempting for the little ones so set expectations for behavior beforehand. Watching a recording session may inspire young musicians to practice more.
Visit a concert hall or band/choir rehearsal
Go behind the scenes to see what is involved in putting on a music performance. Who sets up the equipment? How important is the lighting? What do the performers do before the concert?
Have students focus on the acoustics of the concert hall. If possible, visit two concert halls and have students compare and contrast the acoustics of each hall. Have students explore what made the acoustics in one building better than the other?
Visit a music school
Get students thinking beyond high school and visit a music school or program at a university or college. Schedule a meeting with a faculty member and have him or her describe the music program. Help students come up with questions they might have for faculty before the field trip. This could really energize students to stick with their music and consider making it a career.
Visit an instrument maker
If your town has one, visit the local instrument manufacturer or an individual who repairs instruments. Call ahead to see if they’ll welcome fellow music lovers to share their process and skill for making or repairing instruments. Students could explore the history of a few instruments and research how the making of the instrument has changed or stayed the same over the years. Students may even take better care of their instruments!