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Music Games & Brain Break Activities


This is a playlist of musical games and brain break activities I use in my teaching. I will do my best to add videos every week or so with many being suitable for both in person and online lessons.

I have learnt many different games and activities throughout my teaching career and would like to thank those organisations and individuals who shared their ideas with me. These include but are not limited to: the University of York's Music Education Group, the O.A.E., James Redwood, Derbyshire Music Partnership, Nottinghamshire Music Service, Music Education Hubs East Midlands, the Halle', Music Mark and Lewisham Music Service.

Don't Clap This One Back










This is a 4 beat rhythm game that exists in many forms, this is the version I play. It is great at getting beginner students used to hearing, copying and recognising 4 beat rhythms.

To play this game the teacher claps 4 beat rhythms for the students to copy back, but the student needs to listen out for the 'forbidden rhythms', which they must not clap back.

Forbidden Rhythms:
Don't Clap This One Back
Never Clap This One Back
Don't Clap This Back
Don't You Dare Clap This One Back


Silly Faces
brain break | hype up | online












This brain break activity is a great for reinvigorating younger children during online lessons. It works best if everyone is in gallery view. It is incredibly simple, you just give the children an instruction and count down from 5. You can also get the children to give the instructions that you have to follow. Instructions can include:

  • Disappear from view

  • Make your face look as small as possible

  • Make your face as BIG as possible

  • Make the silliest face 

  • Appear at the top right hand corner of your screen

  • Look as innocent as possible

  • Do a super hero pose

Body Percussion Fanfare

Knees Clap Click Shh

Knees Clap Click Shh
Knees Clap Click Clap 
Knees Clap Click Shh

Don't forget the little ones
Don't forget the little ones
Don't forget, Don't forget
Knees Clap Click Shh



'Knees' is when you tap your knees. 'Clap Click' is pretty self explanatory. The 'Shh' can either be a silent rest or a finger to the lips. On 'Don't' tap your knees again. On 'forget the little ones' clap your hands for each syllable, go diagonally to the right the first time, and the left the second time. This is the same for 'forget'.


This is a great warm up activity. I use it to practice rounds as well as introducing different tempos.

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