Back to School “Backpack”

To download the full, Back to School “Backpack” – Click here:

Or… Download by individual links or categories below:


Hi! My Name Is…

Name game icebreaker using rap

Lyric Love

Test your knowledge of commonly used lyrics in love songs

Top 10 Debate Club

Debate and defend your favorite top 10 songs

Question Mingle Icebreaker

Big group icebreaker where music is the common language

Be one of the “Cool kids” – download all of the Icebreakers – Click Here:

New Participant Orientation 

New Participant Orientation Process

Welcome new participants and get them making music right away!

Equipment Orientation Worksheets

Quick start worksheets for beginners

Welcome your new participants – download all the New Studio Orientation tools – Click Here:

Programs, Projects and Performances

“Karate Belt” Reward System

Help your participants earn a musical “black belt”

VIP Band Program

Very Important Participants become Virtuoso Instrument Players!

Music Producer Reward System

Participants earn studio privileges while improving their studio skills!

How to Address Inappropriate Language

Five ways to clean up inappropriate language that you’ll swear by!

Lip Sync battle

Channel your inner “Milli Vanilli” while learning stage presence

Cover Song Challenge

Healthy competition that encourages collaboration, talent and self-esteem

Be Prepared – Pack your bag with the latest program ideas – Click Here:

Essential Supplies

NOTE: Any featured products are based on the experience and opinions of Network members and Music & Youth. We do not receive any financial benefit from the vendors to promote their products. We just thought they were helpful and you might like ’em. 

Dropmix – Music Mixing Game

Part game, part DJ mixer, part ear-trainer… ALL fun!

Rhythm Roulette (Using Splice)

Random samples equals endless beat making creativity

Logic Remote as a Midi Control Surface

An iPad works as a control surface to make beats like a pro

Back to school shopping time –download all Essential Supplies – Click Here:

It’s not cheating… Go ahead, just download the whole thing – Click here:

Hi! My Name Is…

My name is rap… and I’m a fun game… that helps your kids… see that they’re the same!

New participants still getting to know one another? Everyone into hip-hop and rap? What better way to break the ice than to have them write and perform an original rap about themselves?! “Hi! My Name is…” is a classic name game icebreaker that helps participants express who they are and get to know one another all while learning rhythm/flow, lyric writing and the self-confidence to perform in front of each other.  

Read More

How to… 

  • Participants have to come up with a rap that describes who they are, what they like, etc. 
  • Music program staff decide on the number of bars participants have to write (ie. 4, 8 or 12) depending on how much time you have
  • Participants individually spend 3-5 minutes writing or thinking of their lyrics
  • At the end of the designated lyric writing time, each participant performs their rap in front of the group


My name is Anne and I’m the Director
Of New City Kids, yeah all 3 centers
I love to sing, I love to play
You can see me do both, any day  

  • Optional elements to incorporate 
    • Each participant chooses their own beat/instrumental online 
    • Each participant creates one from scratch (using loops or beat making software) 
    • Staff choose one backing track/beat for the whole group – see if everyone can perform their rap one right after another without missing a beat
    • Have participants also create choreography 
    • Other creative elements could include: 
      • Rap alias nicknames
      • Costumes
      • Lyric themes
      • Performing through a PA system on stage
      • Recording each rap in the studio 
      • Create a music video
  • Alternative: 
    • Have participants split up into pairs 
    • Participants tell each other about their likes and interests 
    • Each pair must write a rap about their partner based on the discussion 
    • Participants perform for one another


Her name is Anne and she’s the Director
Of New City Kids, yeah all 3 centers
She loves to sing, She loves to play
You can see her do both, any day 

To download a full, editable version

Dropmix – Music Mixing Game

Dropmix – part game, part DJ mixer, part ear-trainer… ALL fun! 

Dropmix is a new game from Harmonix (the makers of “Rock Band” video game) that lets participants create unique mixes of popular songs by using playing cards connected to an iPad or iPhone.  Because it’s a fun game, music programs quickly realize that it’s a great way to engage participants but others have found other creative ways to use Dropmix to teach their participants core musical concepts.  Below is some feedback from program directors using Dropmix and the clever ways they incorporate it into their programs.  

Learn more here:

Read More

Example #1 – Engage participants on the “fringe”

– “Dropmix has been engaging participants who were typically on the fringe (ie. not very active). They had a lot of fun once they tried it and now I have participants coming to my program just to play!” – Eddie Salas,  Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County
“Dropmix is a good quick way to get participants in the room and engage them. It really helps me to transition them to other activities once they are here.” – Dustin Cicero, A. Worley Brown Boys & Girls Club
“It has been great for getting more kids involved that would normally just “hang out”. The game makes interacting with music a fun and non-intimidating activity. It’s also perfect for getting brand new participants involved, excited, and having fun as soon as they walk in.” – Alex Delorey, Methuen YMCA 
– “I was skeptical at first but it has been helpful with programming because it has been a draw for some kids who wouldn’t traditionally come into the music room. It feels less intimidating to play a game than learning an instrument.” – Chris Knox, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County

Example #2 – Bracket Competition 

“I have the kids listen when they play a card and try to explain what they hear changing in the music before they play a new card.”  Submitted by Chris Knox, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County 
  • Friday bracket competition
    • Play every Friday and be sure to plug the game into large speakers!
    • Set up a simple/traditional bracket system to play multiple games/rounds
    • The total number of participants who want to play will determine if the bracket will be made up of solo players or you need to create groups/teams of participants.  
    • Whether individuals or groups – the standard rules apply 
    • Each week the winner (or group) gets a small prize 
  • Engage large groups
    • Assign one or two responsible group leaders who will hold all of the cards. 
    • The group leaders prompt participants with questions like “what type of beat should come next?” or “how can we completely change the vibe of the song?”
    • Group leaders get the group to discuss what they are hearing and collaboratively agree on which card to play next.  
Page 1 of 2 

To download a full, editable version

Explore similar resources in Youth Development