Differentiated Instruction

Background & DI in Music

What is Differentiation?

Differentiated Instruction is a practice which tasks teachers to incorporate multiple strategies in order to reach all students regardless of their preferred learning style.
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Differentiation in Music

The challenge in a music classroom deals specifically with the fact, inevitably, the product must be the same (regardless of the student's particular learning style). In both small and large group instruction, every student should be exposed to each of the four types of learning.
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Say, Finger, Play Method


  • Students say the note names in rhythm (small segment to larger sections).
  • This method narrows the focus to only the note reading aspect of music performance.
  • It allows the visual and reading learners to internalize the passages.


  • Students continue to say the note names in rhythm, but incorporate the fingerings of each pitch.
  • This allows the kinesthetic learners an opportunity to connect the physicality of playing an instrument with the note names
  • Also helps reinforce the fingerings for the other learning styles


  • Students will play the song.
  • This allows aural learners the ability to perform the piece
  • Also helps reinforce the other aspects of music performance for the other learners
Smart Music Demo