Everyday is The Star-Spangled Banner Day!

 Everyday is “The Star-Spangled Banner” Day!

Every teacher can use “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a teaching tool to teach music in elementary school classes.

Goals and Objectives

  1. Read, write and perform melodic notation, using the terminology of music.
  2. Sing a varied repertoire of music from 18th through 20th century.
  3. Compose and improvise music and lyrics.
  4. Identify music from different time periods.
  5. Have a clear understanding of our national anthem and to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” and other patriotic songs at a school concert as a culminating activity.


The purpose of this 12-unit project is to introduce various rhythmic and melodic patterns to students, by using the standardized version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (prepared for the U.S. Bureau of Education in 1918) and other patriotic songs. As a secondary activity, composing parodies with lyrics and/or melody, with their own experience, students could bring “The Star-Spangled Banner” and other songs closer to their hearts. The project culminates on a Patriotic Concert, with or without other songs.

Materials Needed

  1. Kodály Hand Signs Chart.
  2. Rhythmic pattern cards.
  3. Melodic pattern cards.
  4. Lyrics cards for all songs:
    “The Star-Spangled Banner”
    “America” (“My Country, Tis of Thee”)
    “Lift Every Voice And Sing”
    “America, the Beautiful!”
    “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”
    “You’re a Grand Old Flag”
    “God Bless America”
    “This Land Is Your Land”

Daily Activities

Breathing Exercises and Body Movements
Solfege signing and singing
Story Time/Historical Events
Musical Concepts
Play Instruments/Games
Sing Concert Songs

Resources–PowerPoint Presentations


A step-by-step process for each of the twelve lessons can be found here. Lessons 6 through 11 can be taught in any order.


The American Spiritual Ensemble
California Content Standards for Music
Hampsong Foundation

IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library
National Association for Music Education
National Museum of American History
Negro Spirituals
Popular Songs in American History
Song of America
Voices Across Time
USA Flag Site


The Star-Spangled Banner Quiz

Teacher Guide

Each lesson has several embedded rhythm and melody files and audio tracks, while some have video files as well. All songs on this page come with a piano accompaniment and can be arranged in different keys, at your request. For further assistance and requests, please contact Kaii Lee.


StrandsGradesCalifornia Content Standards
1.14Read, write, and perform simple melodic notation in major keys, using solfege.
1.34Read, write, and perform rhythmic notation, including 16th notes, dotted notes, and syncopation.
2.15Sing a varied repertoire of music, including rounds, descants, and songs with ostinatos and songs in two-part harmony, by oneself and with others.
2.35Compose, improvise, and perform basic rhythmic, melodic, and chordal patterns independently on classroom instruments.
2.46Compose short pieces in duple and triple meters.
3.15Describe the social functions of a variety of musical forms from various cultures and time periods (e.g., folk songs, dances).
4.25Develop and apply appropriate criteria to support personal preferences for specific musical works.
4.24Describe the characteristics that make a performance a work of art.
5.156Explain the role of music in community events.Describe how knowledge of music connects to learning in other subject areas.

About the Author
Kaii Lee was born in Taipei, Taiwan where she began her musical studying on the piano, French horn and cello. Her Catholic school choir had provided the experience for singing in many languages. She earned her B.A. degree in Piano Performance from UCLA and served as the A Cappella Choir president under Roger Wagner, and her M.A. degree from Cal State Northridge in Piano Performance, studied with Jakob Gimpel. While at CSUN, Kaii also completed her K-12 Single Subject and Community College Teaching Credentials and studied choral conducting with John Alexander. Currently, Kaii teaches five schools at the Irvine Unified School District, in Irvine, California, and performs with the Pacific Chorale in Orange County, California.
About Banner Moments
Made available as part of the 2014 Banner Moments K-12 Institute—a project of the American Music Institute of the University of Michigan and the Star Spangled Music Foundation, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities