How to Use a Music Bracket in Your Classroom

Happy March! Everyone’s making their March Madness brackets, why not channel some of that excitement towards music history and appreciation? I got this idea from my amazing former co-worker a few years ago who made a book bracket for the media center. I think the big winner then was a Minecraft book or maybe it was Diary of A Wimpy Kid… but probably Minecraft.

This is one of the simplest bulletin/wall decor designs you can make. Just take a piece of paper (printer or butcher), a ruler, and a sharpie and draw some brackets! The design that I’ve used has the traditional 64 spots, but you could easily eliminate the outer brackets for 32 or 16 spots. You could also just use the right half only. If your school has a die cut machine just make a title like “Classical Music Bracket” and you’re done!

How to Set-Up Your Brackets

  • Outer columns: 16 brackets per side (4 per page)
  • Next column in: 8 per side (2 per page)
  • Next column in: 4 per side (1 per page)
  • Next column in: 2 per side (top 1/2 of one bracket connects to the bottom half which will be on a second page)
  • Winner rectangle in center (turn page horizontally)

Customize Your Brackets

  • I filled my brackets with composers from the Medieval to Modern periods but you could do a combo of any genre. I have pieces from the Medieval to Impressionist periods on the left, and Modern pieces (not including Impressionist) on the right.
  • You could do Classical vs. Popular to get the kids even more excited.
  • I’ve made sure to include some instantly recognizable classical hits (Figaro’s Aria) along with pieces by composers of color that my music history classes overlooked such as works by Florence Price and Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Ways to Use Your Brackets

  • If you have been told to incorporate more “literacy” (insert eye roll here), you could have them write which piece they chose to win and why.
  • Students can also have a friendly debate with each other on why they think their piece should win.
  • Students can vote for winners, or different classes can choose winners from brackets that are assigned to them. Then, a third class can choose the winner of the two brackets who are up against each other, and so forth.

Print-and-Go Bracket

If you want to literally just print and tape/staple these pages up, you can find the editable PowerPoint file or Print-and-Go PDF on TeachersPayTeachers. Just click here! The final look is HUGE (8′ x 3.5′) and uses about 30 pieces of paper. It will take up a big chunk of the wall so if you don’t have that kind of real estate, just post it in the hallway for everyone to enjoy! 🙂

Happy Teaching!

Do you need an engaging music listening activity for your general music class, band, or orchestra? This classical March Classical Music Bracket is a perfect way to add 10-15 minutes of music appreciation to your lessons. It's so easy to make, and the PowerPoint is fully editable! Use any genre of music and get your kids competing for their favorite pieces! #sillyomusic

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