Singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Non-Music Classrooms


by Mary L.Vincent – Monroe Public Schools

This lesson series is a compilation of
5 short videos lessons (each approximately 6 minutes long) that help students rehearse singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  The videos integrate relevant locations and historical perspectives related to the national anthem.
This lesson series also aims to make singing the Star-Spangled Banner more accessible.  All performance lessons are sung by a “regular” person without vocal training.  They are also un-retouched and are not auto-tuned.
Goals and Objectives
The goal of this lesson series is to give students who are not enrolled in music classes, an opportunity to learn, rehearse and perform the Star-Spangled Banner.

  1. Students will demonstrate how to stand or sit with proper posture for singing.
  2. Students will perform the entire first verse of the Star-Spangled Banner as a class ensemble.
    * Star-Spangled Music Day is September 12, 2014
    * The 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner is September 14, 2014

Click an underlined title to visit the lesson page with links to video lesson and additional online resources.
Click a URL to go straight to the video lesson.

Video 1 –
– For classroom use
Setting – Maryland Historical Society
– Singing Portion – First verse, phrases 1 and 2
– History –  Francis Scott Key’s manuscript and publication of the SSB
Video 2
– For classroom use
Setting – United States Capitol Building
– Singing Portion – First verse, phrases 3 and 4
History – 1931 Congressional Act that made the SSB the national anthem

Video 3 –
– For classroom use
Setting – Library of Congress (Jefferson Building)
– Singing Portion – First verse, phrases 5 and 6
History – Early publications of the SSB, Library of Congress resources

Video 4 –
– For classroom use
Setting – National Museum of American History
– Singing Portion – First verse, phrases 7 and 8
History – The flag at Fort McHenry, conservation of the flag, Mary Pickersgill
Video 5 –
– For classroom use
Setting – Fort McHenry
– Singing Portion – Entire first verse
History – Francis Scott Key, War of 1812, Defense of Fort McHenry
About the Author
Please visit my websites:
My Professional Website
My Classroom Website
Feel free to contact me via email or Google Drive at
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