Lesson: Apples



Matthew Stensrud shows how you can use one theme, yummy fall apples and guide children to experience, create and compose a bushel of musical experiences for all of your K-5 general music classes.


Click here to download Matthew’s printable cards.

About Matthew Stensrud

Matthew Stensrud

Matthew Stensrud is an award-winning Elementary Music and Movement Teacher and currently teaching PK-4 music and movement at Sidwell Friends Lower School in Washington, DC. He received his Master of Music Education from George Mason University and Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, is an Orff Schulwerk approved Teacher Educator of Movement, and teaches Movement Levels in South Carolina and Oregon. Matthew is also on The Orff Echo Editorial Board and was a key content contributor to the book Responsive Classroom for Music, Art, PE and Other Special Areas. He is available for workshops for music chapters, districts, schools, specials teachers, and more. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia. Visit his website: www.matthewstensrud.com to sign up for his newsletter with lesson plans, articles, and more. He is also well-known on social media as @MisterSOrff on Instagram and Facebook. He can also be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/matthewstensrud


Kris Olson

Great lesson Matthew! The video format is really great. Things are so clear so quickly. I often find that when I read a lesson it takes some work to see it in my mind’s eye and seems to take longer to process than seeing it on video. This is very efficient and you have a great way of presenting!

Leslie Dooley

I enjoyed this lesson, especially the rhythmic building-blocks cards. Can you please supply the name of author of the “Apples” book?

Daniel A McKay

Currently RUNNING to the library to find our Apples book! Love this! Thank you for sharing.

Carla Astle

Thank you for this great lesson! Is there a way to print out the lesson plan? Do you have cards made up already that you are willing to share so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel? LOVE IT!!

Lisa Thyssen

Yes cards and a lesson plan would be wonderful to print! I always teach apple songs and these ideas would be great to add to my repetoire! Thanks for the fun lesson!

Amy Pryor

If any of you own Purposeful Pathways, you’ll find a similar concept from Sams and Hepburn in PP 1. There are building blocks with apple varieties. Can’t wait to combine the lessons with your melody and the apple poem in Purposeful Pathways to make a wonderful performance! Thank you.

Emily Carter

Wonderful lesson! Is there a place I can go to print the cards for the apples? If not, what image did you use for the “yum” card?

Andi Lavu

I loved this lesson! I plan on using it this fall. Although I like the manipulative aspect of the apple cards and gluing together the apple rhythms, because of covid-19 we are avoiding shared materials and reducing paper/materials handling as much as possible. To that end, I have made a Google slides version of the first apple card activity that could be done as a class. On slides 3 and 4 there are layers of apples and notation that you can move and drag into place. I have set it to “view only” but if you choose “make a copy” you can alter your version however you’d like.


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