Teacher Hub

Make the most of... mini whiteboards

Written by Anna Gower16/08/23

Mini whiteboards can be a valuable tool in music classrooms for various activities and exercises. Here are some ideas for you to try tomorrow! And you can do some of these even if your whiteboards don't have staves printed on them.

Ear Training

Play short melodies or chords on a piano or other instrument, and ask students to write down what they hear on their mini whiteboards. Younger children could write a few words to describe the sound or draw some shapes or lines to show how the sound changes. Older children can recall musical vocabulary or specific musical terms or use notation skills as appropriate. This activity can improve their listening skills and reveal prior learning you might not have been aware of.

Composition and Arrangement

Ask students to use their mini whiteboards to sketch out musical ideas for compositions or arrangements. They can jot down melodies, chord progressions, or even musical sketches to help them develop their musical ideas. If you have class iPads, get them to photograph their boards before they clean them so that they can recall and build on their ideas at the start of the next lesson. A great way to save on paper and to be able to find and recall their ideas at the press of a button!

Music Dictation

Play a short melody or rhythm pattern, and have students write it down on their mini whiteboards. This activity helps develop their listening skills, transcription abilities, and musical memory.

Music Games and Quizzes

Create interactive games and quizzes using the mini whiteboards. For example, you can display a question or a musical puzzle on the board, and students can write their answers on their boards. This can be a fun and engaging way to reinforce music concepts and knowledge.

Remember to encourage participation and engagement from all students during these activities. Mini whiteboards allow students to write and share their answers, fostering a collaborative and interactive learning environment in your music class, but with each student able to give an individual response without relying on ‘hands up’ to get an answer.

Top tip! Look out for mini whiteboards that have a musical staves (5 lines) on one side and are blank on the other. These can be such a flexible and versatile addition to your classroom resources. You can usually get them with either two staves, three staves, or four staves on one side.

You can also try magnetic whiteboards for an even more versatile classroom tool.