Game-Based Learning in the Music Classroom


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Welcome to Game-Based Learning in the Elementary Music Classroom! Here, we will delve into the game-based learning model and learn about its benefits, implementation, and how it can work for you and your students! This course is intended for elementary general music teachers but has helpful information for educators that teach across all subjects and age groups.

As you move through the course, follow the links to "level up" and move onto the next lesson.

Topics to be covered:

  • What is game-based learning?
  • What are the benefits of game-based learning?
  • Does game-based learning have drawbacks?
  • Where can I find games to use in my lessons?
  • How do I implement game-based learning into my lessons?

What is the Quest?

  • The educational problem or opportunity
    • The instructional need is for elementary general music teachers to have the knowledge and skills to be able to implement game-based learning in the classroom in order to supplement student learning. Another problem would be a lack of content or ideas that would fall under the category of game-based learning. Educators that fall outside of the realm of general education are often at a disadvantage when it comes to lesson planning since many "specials" or "humanities" teachers are not given a curriculum to work with and are instead expected to create their own lessons and curriculum.
  • The learners/participants
    • The learners will be any elementary general music teachers.
  • Existing efforts to address this gap
    • There are existing programs that music educators can subscribe to that provide examples of game-based learning and ideas for games to play in the classroom. Educators may also join groups such as online forums in which other music teachers post their lessons and games that they use or have come up with.
  • Intent statement
    • This mini-course will help educators to analyze game-based materials in their relevance and effectiveness in supporting student learning goals and guide them in designing a lesson plan that incorporates game-based learning while aligning with the appropriate educational standards.

Achievements List

At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Evaluate game-based materials on their effectiveness and relevance to the intended learning outcomes.

Synthesize lessons that incorporate game-based learning to be used in the classroom.

Apply knowledge and skills concerning game-based learning in a classroom setting.


This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Level 1: What is Game-Based Learning?

After this unit the learner will be able to:

  1. Define game-based learning
  2. Reflect on personal experiences with game-based learning

Level 2: Why and How Do We Use Game-Based Learning?

During this unit the learner will:

  1. Identify the benefits of using games to promote learning
  2. Recognize the common misconceptions and struggles with using game-based learning
  3. Be provided with examples of games to be used in the elementary general music classroom
  4. Engage with resources that can be used to find classroom games in the future

Level 3: Implementing Game-Based Learning in the Classroom

During this unit learners will:

  1. Analyze their general music curriculum and its alignment with current educational standards
  2. Select lesson materials that support student learning goals
  3. Design a lesson that includes:
    1. learning objectives that align with the appropriate educational standards
    2. a game-based element that supports the chosen student learning goals
    3. assessment of student learning and effectiveness of the applied game-based approach

References and Resources

Denham, A.R., Mayben, R. & Boman, T. Integrating Game-Based Learning Initiative: Increasing the Usage of Game-Based Learning Within K-12 Classrooms Through Professional Learning Groups. TechTrends 60, 70–76 (2016).

Pho, A., & Dinscore, A. (2015). Game-Based Learning. Tips and Trends Instructional Technologies Committee. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from