Music Sub Plans

Let’s face it; it’s often more difficult to write out detailed sub plans than to write your own lesson plans! And, the idea of kids breaking instruments and rearranging the music room makes you want to just come in to school, even if you have a fever of 101! There are several good resources, some of which are books to buy – and a couple of things I can share with you. First of all, let me say that the chances of you getting a sub that knows music and feels familiar singing with the students are very slim. Write non-musical sub plans! It’s good to get a reputation of being a class that’s not difficult to sub for. Also, subs don’t often come in very early. Make your lessons easy to follow – not too wordy, and not too many transitions. To be honest, most of the time, I provided DVDs with detailed instructions on how to turn on the DVD player.

Since you never know when you might have to call in sick for the next day, always have your sub folder ready. I use a SUB TUB with hanging file folders categorized by grade. In each folder are 2 or 3 DVDs with post-it notes labeling each grade level. I asked the subs to mark which classes watched which videos. That way if I have to be gone for a several days unexpectedly, there is plenty for a sub to do. Put a sign in clear view where the sub can find your plans. Also, it helps to let a colleague know where to find things to help the sub if necessary.

Here’s what I put in my sub tub:

  • Overview note (above)
  • Band Aids and other first aid necessities
  • Music schedule
  • What to do in case of emergencies (tornado, fire, lock down drill)
  • Class lists / seating charts in plain view
  • What to teach


Favorite DVDs

This Wee Sing series is full of great folk songs!

             ^ list of songs                                   ^ list of songs                                ^ list of songs

                   ^ list of songs                                                   ^ list of songs

These are some other favorites.


See also

Extras for Plus Members

  • Music Class Sub Notes – Word Doc & PDF

Amazon links are affiliate links. I earn a small commission, but there is no extra cost to you.

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4 thoughts on “Music Sub Plans”

  1. Pingback: When You Have to Teach Elementary Music From Home… – RedGo Magz and Services

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  3. Are all of the Wee Sing videos free of songs with racial injustice? I can’t find an index for the songs used for each dvd/video and thought maybe others who have used these videos would have better insight.

    1. I just removed two recommendations: for “Wee Sing in Sillyville” and “Wee Sing The Wee Sing Train” because of two of the songs. I added links to the lists of songs in each of the other videos.

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