Making Music in the Garden: A Summertime Lesson in Music Integration

How do you think nature and music are connected?

 Peas don't just come from the frozen section in the groceries store, and music isn't just for professionals on the radio. In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it is easy to forget where the things we enjoy come from, and how we can take part in bringing these things to life.

Do you, or I, or anyone know how oats, peas, beans, and melodies grow?

We're big into music integration at Music in Schools Today. Even though school is out and music programs are on a brief hiatus, it's still important to integrate music into children's everyday lives.

Here is a taste of one of our programs, Nature of Music. This lesson integrates music into learning about nature in the garden, by planting seeds that will grow into delicious snacks in just a few weeks time. It's a good way to get kids outside learning about the world around them, and about science and music. Try it this summer! Get outside, make some music, and learn something!


You will need:

  • Six pea seeds per child

  • Quart yogurt containers with a hole in the bottom to allow for drainage

  • Potting soil

  • Popsicle sticks

  • Permanent markers

  • Journals

  • Pens or pencils


Hand out pens or pencils and introduce journals. Have children write their names on their journals.

Ask the children to write in their journals (or help them write their answers):

  • “How do you think nature and music are connected?”

  • Name 3 steps you need to take to grow a plant from seed?

  • Draw what a pea looks like as it grows.

Introduce the song Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow. This is a song about how farmers grow different kinds of plants to eat. Go through the different steps to growing the plants:

  • The farmer sows the seeds,

  • Next the farmer waters the seeds,

  • Then the farmer hoes the weeds,

  • And lastly, the farmer harvests his seed

Sing a verse or two of the song, and have the children clap the rhythm they hear. Continue singing the song, keeping a steady beat. When they are comfortable with the rhythm, have them sing and clap double as fast.

Demonstrate putting soil in the yogurt containers. Next, demonstrate making a hole in the soil, putting a seed in it and covering it. Have students do this activity by using six seeds and filling one yogurt container. Then water it the containers.

Next, write on the popsicle sticks. Write "pea", the date, and their name on a popsicle stick and stick them in their containers.

Conclude by bringing it back around: Ask kids what they learned today. Write their answers in their journals, and compare to their answers from before the lesson.

If you have time, finish up with one more round of Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow, or play the accompanying game!

Continue to water your pea plants and see what happens! This is just one way in which you can incorporate music into kids' lives over the summer.

If you do this activity, tell us about it in the comments! We would love to hear what you and your students think!

Music in Schools Today