Play Sets & Show Ideas


Designing a stage for a show can be time consuming and we all know the limitations of the clock when putting together a performance.  For Veteran's Day, it was decided that we would make something simple, classy and respectful.  The name of the show was "This Is America" and many of the songs for the performance came from the MusicK8 website.

A musical to honor our Veterans

The back wall was covered in dark blue butcher paper and the United States map was made of syrofoam from the local hardware store.  It is important to use paint that will not melt the syrofoam.  We used classroom paint and it worked well once it was dry.  Long pieces of paper were hung from the ceiling to form this unique look.  By adding the title of the show and the flags on the stage, parents and students alike were thrilled as the curtain slowly opened before the show.

I have found great success in using musicals and songs from the MusicK8 website.  Not only are the shows kid friendly, but the show tracks sound amazing!

Click the red title below to find ideas for show songs.

Click the red title below to find ideas for show songs.

Good luck with your show.  And God Bless America!


spring stage set music class ideas

 Sometimes when putting together a performance, you really don't need to use whole the stage.  During these times, it seems in the best interest of the students to place them in front of the curtain. Not only does this help with volume for the young singers to be closer to the audience, but it also is a great introduction to being on stage with less distractions.  A curtain can be a strong backdrop, but can also be very boring to look at, and does not help to tell a story about the songs being presented.  One option to create the perfect "photo opt" during the performance is to hang items from the curtain.  Although some schools may be opposed to putting holes into the stage curtain, our Magic Paper Lady has discovered an easy way to accomplish this task without causing any damage.
A Tag Gun, which is used in a store to place price tags on clothing, is a great way to hang items on the curtain.  Not only can you purchase the proper needle length for the thickness of the curtain, but you can simply snip the plastic holder for quick tear down.  This is also much easier to use then large safety pins, as the weight and strength of the curtain is difficult to pierce and can leave holes.

Our Magic Paper Lady, can create any item with paper and for this show to stick with a spring theme, she created beautiful flowers.  By crinkling, crunching and shaping the paper, she was able to produce flowers that would be able to hang flat while having depth.  They turned out beautiful and truly enhanced the backdrop.

The use of strong color created the illusion of real flowers.  When placing flowers on the curtain, it is important to put them where they will not be blocked by the students standing in front of them during the performance.  For this, a sheet of green paper was placed on the bottom of the curtain and cut into blades to create the image of grass.  And here's the final result! Enjoy!


As elementary music teachers, it can be a challenge to put together new shows for the students to perform.  While searching through the curriculum, it was decided that doing a performance based on calendar days might be pretty fun.  The first thing was to surf the net to find a calendar that has all the special days listed such as Groundhogs Day, National Popcorn Day, Friendship Day and many more.

Looking through the Making Music series, it is easy to find songs divided by seasons and games along with many other categories.  Lining up the songs with the calendar days was simple and made for an awesome set design idea!  Lori the Magic Paper Lady, came up with this wonderful idea of making large calendar pages like those found on a day planner.  WOW! The results were amazing! What a wonderful photo opportunity for all the young performers.  Take a look for yourself~
Here's one of many links for fun calendar days.   Enjoy!


February 14, 1912 is the birth date of my native home of the great state of Arizona.  And this past year, we celebrated 100 years.  Of course, this is cause for a show! The 4th graders in our state study Arizona as part of their social studies unit curriculum, so we designed a show specifically to highlight some of the many wonderful features of Arizona.  An Arizona show would not be complete without the mention and singing of the song, "Route 66".  This sparked the idea of an Arizona road trip and the need for an awesome van to take on the road. (Or at least sit on the stage.)

Our Arizona van could seat 6 passengers at a time, which was great for speaking parts!  The students were able to pass the cordless mic from performer to performer while seated in the van.

As the director of the show, I thought of this crazy idea to have a van but it was the incredible skills of Lori the Amazing Paper Lady that made it happen.  The following pictures will show you how the van was able to remain upright during the show.

Lori used cardboard and some panels of wood to make the frame of the van.  Cardboard slats were placed over the chairs and the kids sat on top of the cardboard and chairs.

 The driver held the steering wheel up and pretended to drive.

And there you have our Arizona van!

To help the students understand the placement of Arizona's counties, they learned a song and made a map on stage in front of the audience.  First, the prop looked somewhat like the Arizona state flag, minus the copper star in the middle.

As the students sang the name of each county in the song, they would attach the parts of the map to the flag until it showed a complete map of Arizona.

The kids enjoyed making the map and the audience had a strong visual of where the counties in Arizona are located.

It was wonderful to see the cross-curricular connections between social studies, cultures, community and music.  To watch the audience sing along and tap their toes to the music promoted an experience between people that only music can provide.  Music really is the universal language.
Happy 100th Birthday Arizona!


When considering the look of a stage for a good old rock and roll show, a great thought is an old fashion soda shop.  For this musical production, we used the show called "Rock and Roll Forever- How it All Began" by John Jacobson and John Higgins.  This program features the music of many old favorite artists, groups and music from the past.  One of the songs from the show was "I Wanna Hold Your Hand".  During this song, the kids rolled out this picture of The Beatles.  When the bridge of the song began, the kids lifted the face of a Beatle, put their face through the poster and started to sing.  Additionally, this poster made an outstanding "photo op" for the kids and family after the show.  Although an overhead projector could be used to trace the bodies, it could also be drawn free hand as this artist had done. (Nice work Mr. M)

The counter for the soda shop was made of black bookshelves from the music room.  They were perfect, as the back of the shelves faced the audience and the opening of the shelves held props that kids took out during the show.  The students pretended to make ice cream sundae's and shakes behind the counter.  It really gave it that 1950's feel!

Make sure to take a close look at the jukebox in the back corner of the stage.  This jukebox was all made of cardboard by Lori Schuermann.  Lori is a mom of one of the students and has a deep love for working with paper and cardboard.  This was a hidden talent that wasn't discovered until she began working on bulletin boards around the campus and sets for the shows.  She is truly amazing and has agreed to share her creations and ideas with us!  Yeah!  Keep looking for our new page called, Lori's Creations coming soon!

Here's an idea for a stage set to be used in a "Character Counts" show.  The scene was to show a place where kids come to play and sometimes, not play so well together.  This was a perfect format to sing about trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship!

The trees were made from school butcher paper and the trunks of the trees were stapled to the back wall.  The green leaves of the tree were hung from the ceiling to give the illusion of a very large old tree.

The slide was put together using a ladder and a real sliding board.  Although the kids did not slide down the board, they were able to sit at the bottom of the slide and stand at the top.  This really looked great on the stage and allowed for the parents to have a "photo op" of their little star for the scrapbook!

When this picture was taken, our second borrowed bench had not yet been delivered, but we promise, those two classroom chairs were removed for the performance.

This set was designed by many awesomely creative people, but the loudest shout outs must go to:
Lori S. (The Magic Paper Lady), and (Draw It On the Spot) Victoria! Love you two!

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