Lesson 2: Learning “Stars and Stripes Forever”

Aim: How can we explore steady beat and marching with “Stars and Stripes Forever”?

Students learn to move along to “Stars and Stripes Forever” while building vocabulary to describe the American brass band.

Musical Explorers CD or online audio, scissors, glue, popsicle sticks, markers or crayons


march, meter, patriotic

Move to the Steady Beat in “Stars and Stripes Forever”

  • Listen to Hollie and Bernard and their brass ensemble play “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Track 49.
    • What do you notice about this song?
    • How does this song make you want to move?
  • Ask students to walk with the steady beat as they listen to “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Explore Meter with “Stars and Stripes Forever”

  • Meter is a repeating pattern of strong and weak beats in music.
  • Using SG45 and Tracks 50–52, listen to some different meter patterns. For each pattern, ask your students to tap the steady beat, using more force for the strong beat in the pattern.
    • Track 50: Meter in 2
    • Track 51: Meter in 3
    • Track 52: Meter in 4
  • Listen to “Stars and Stripes Forever” again. Which pattern on SG45 best fits this song?
    • The meter of “Stars and Stripes Forever” has a pattern of one strong beat and one weak beat.

March to “Stars and Stripes Forever”

  • A march is a musical genre with a pattern of one strong and one weak beat, originally written for bands marching in a parade. Marching is walking to a steady beat in an organized manner.
  • Ask your students if they have ever been to a parade.
    • Who have you seen in a parade?
    • Have you seen a marching band?
  • “Stars and Stripes Forever” is the official National March of the United States of America. “Stars and Stripes” is a nickname for the American flag. This is a patriotic song, or a song that expresses pride in our country.
  • Color and cut out the flags on SG46. As Hollie and Bernard play “Stars and Stripes Forever,” ask students to wave their flags and march to the steady beat.

John Philip Sousa (1854–1932)

John Philip Sousa lived in the 19th and 20th centuries and primarily wrote music for community orchestras and bands. He is known as “The March King” because of the number of marches he composed.

Musical Word Wall

Add marchmeter, and patriotic to the Musical Word Wall.


PDF Downloads

SG45 ↓ Download File

SG46 ↓ Download File


Musical Explorers Audio Tracks



Go to Concert Prepration: Semester 2