Rap My Name [Free Music Tech Lesson Plan]

Rap My Name [Free Music Tech Lesson Plan]

Rap My Name Free Music Technology Lesson Plan

[Updated July 2018 – bonus walkthrough video added below]

Free Music Technology Lesson Plans

This is the first of a new ongoing series of more “formal” lesson plans that suggest simple ways to incorporate technology into music lessons.  I’m aiming to map each lesson to the US and Australian national standards for music education (UK coming soon too!).

I’d love to know what you think about that idea: is it useful for you? What types of things would you like to see?  Leave a comment below letting me know what you think.

Lesson: Rap My Name – I Like That

This lesson plan works well with grade 2-8 and can be adapted in many ways.  It’s a good activity for the beginning of the year when you’re trying to learn new students’ names!

Grade level

Grades 2-8


Students will write a 4-measure name rap within the specified structure and create a rhythmic backing to accompany themselves.

Music Education Standards


  • 1. Singing alone and with others, a varied repertoire
  • 4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines


  • 4.3 Create, perform and record compositions by selecting and organising sounds, silence, tempo and volume
  • 6.3 Rehearse and perform music, including music they have composed, by improvising, sourcing and arranging ideas and making decisions to engage an audience
  • 8.2 Develop musical ideas, such as mood, by improvising, combining and manipulating the elements of music
  • 8.5 Perform and present a range of music, using techniques and expression appropriate to style

New Zealand Curriculum Level 4

  • DI Developing Ideas in Music – students will use musical elements, instruments and technologies to improvise and compose simple musical pieces
  • CI Communicating and Interpreting in Music – students will prepare, rehearse, present and evaluate brief music performances
  • UC Understanding Music In Context – Students will identify and investigate characteristics of music associated with particular contexts, purposes and styles in past and present cultures


  • Computer, Chromebook, iPad or other tablet device
  • Music software, app or website that allows you to create a rhythmic accompaniment
  • Rap structure template (below)
  • Smartphone, iPad, or other tablet to video-record performances (optional)


1-2 lessons

Skills Required

Speaking lyrics in time to a beat


Part 1: Preparation

As a group, keep a steady beat using body percussion. Practice saying the name rap over the steady beat – use the samples below or ask students to make up their own.

Part 2: Write the rap

Ask students to write a rap using their own name, based on the structure provided below.  They can work individually or in pairs (one student can keep a steady beat while the other practices saying their name rap)

Rap Structure

Tempo 80-90 BPM

Hey I’m ________ and I like to ___________

(in second line, say something about thing you like. The final word in this line should rhyme with the end of line 1)

I like that

Oh yeah, I like that

Listening example:



Rap my name notation

Example 1: (by a grade 3 student)

Hey I’m Josh and I like to sing

It sounds croaky in the morning but I am the king

I like that

Oh yeah, I like that

Example 2:

Hey I’m Ava and I like the color blue

It makes me happy, so what you gonna do?

I like that

Oh yeah, I like that


Part 3: Create a rhythmic accompaniment

Using your chosen music software, app or website, create an 8-measure rhythmic accompaniment to go with the rap.

Note: 8 measures of rhythmic accompaniment will give students a two-measure introduction before they start rapping, and a two-measure outro at the end.

Option 1: Groove Pizza (free)

  • Visit Groove Pizza (free online rhythmic step sequencer)
  • Set the tempo to 80 BPM
  • Build up a rhythmic pattern by clicking on the dots on the “pizza” or in the drum pattern grid (it’s a good idea to start with the bass drum on beats 1 and 3 and the snare on beats 2 and 4 and then add other sounds

Option 2: Desktop software

  • Launch your choice of software (such as GarageBand, Mixcraft, Soundation, Soundtrap)
  • Set the tempo to approx 80 BPM
  • Audition drum loops and select a suitable one to go with the rap
  • Drag the loop on to the project area and extend it until it is 8 measures in length

Option 3: GarageBand on iPad

  • Open the GarageBand app and create a new song
  • Select the Smart Drums
  • Choose a drum kit and drag instruments on to the grid to build up a rhythmic pattern
  • Press Record and record 8 measures

Related: for other rhythmic accompaniment options, see How To Make A Funky Beat In 30 Seconds

Part 4: Perform the rap

Start the rhythmic accompaniment and after two measures, start saying the rap.  There will be a two measure outro at the end.

Video-record the student performances using a Smartphone, iPad or other tablet or camera.


  • If your music software/app allows, add an audio track and record the rap part over the backing. Other instrumental backing parts can be added as well: bass line, keyboard part, strings and so on.
  • Older students can create a drum part from scratch using a software instrument: add a drum track, record a 1 or 2 measure loop and then extend the length of the recorded loop to 8 measures
  • Notate the rap using stick notation: use pencil and paper, notation software such as Noteflight, Sibelius, Finale or MuseScore, or apps such as NotateMe or Notion (Noteflight is also an excellent choice for iPads and other tablets).


The students can successfully perform their name rap over the top of their rhythmic accompaniment.

Bonus! Full lesson walk-through video: Rap My Name Using Groove Pizza


PDF preview rap my name torn

Download this lesson plan

Would you like a downloadable copy of this lesson plan?  Click on the button below, fill out your details and the lesson plan will be sent straight to your email inbox.

Download lesson plan

Want more music tech lessons like this?

This video is a sample from my collection of Super-Simple Music Tech Lessons Using Free Resources which is available to members of the Midnight Music Community.  The Super-Simple Music Tech Lessons Using Free Resources collection includes lesson for:

  • Incredibox
  • Groove Pizza
  • Beepbox (video game music)
  • Youtube
  • Hook Theory
  • Chrome Music Lab
  • Isle Of Tune

Interested in becoming a member so you can access these lessons, plus LOTS of other resources and online professional development? Find out how to join here.

Share this lesson!

If you have friends or colleagues that you think would benefit from this lesson, please share this by posting it on Facebook or pinning it to Pinterest. I’d love to spread the word and help out as many music teachers as possible.


About the Author:

I love to simplify technology for music teachers. I help teachers from all around the world through the Midnight Music Community - an online professional development community where teachers can take online courses, ask questions and receive personalised help for the music tech goals.


  1. Wendy Mulligan August 21, 2015 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Thanks for this, Katie! I think my students will have fun trying this out for a beginning of year project. You inspired me to try making my own sample one with Soundtrap, which I’ve been meaning to explore for ages! I’m pretty happy with how it all went.
    I teach many kids who are very reserved and it’s often difficult to get them making their own sound. I’m hoping this project, which I’ll let them record privately, will help them get past their inhibitions.

    • Katie August 21, 2015 at 10:28 am - Reply

      You’re welcome Wendy! Happy to hear you’ve been giving Soundtrap a go. I need to play with it more too.
      One other thing that helps shy kids: once they’ve recorded their voice part, they can add an effect to the track to alter the sound a bit (if your software/app has that option). You can make the voice sound a little distorted or like a chipmunk or like it’s in a big room, or apply an autotune effect etc. Applying an effect disguises the voice enough that they feel less self-concious.

      – Katie

  2. Lisa August 22, 2015 at 12:36 am - Reply

    Hi Katie – thanks so much for this resource – the kids will love it!
    I’m having trouble downloading the full lesson plan. I’ve tried to download it to 2 different email addresses but still haven’t received it. Would you please be able to email it to me when you get a moment?
    Many thanks!
    Lisa 🙂

    • Katie September 9, 2015 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Hi Lisa. Sorry to hear you’ve had trouble. I’ve just sent it to this email address, so hopefully you’ll receive it OK.
      – Katie

  3. Paula Ransom August 22, 2015 at 3:02 am - Reply

    I can’t wait to try this with 6th grade students on Monday!

    • Katie September 9, 2015 at 9:02 am - Reply

      Let me know how it goes Paula. You could come back and leave a little report as a comment here. I’d love to hear 🙂

  4. Sara Dawson August 25, 2015 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Kate,

    Thanks for the lesson! I’ve been interested in using technology more with my Special Needs students and this is a great intro! 🙂


    • Katie September 9, 2015 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Thanks Sara 🙂 Let me know how it goes if you try it.

      – Katie

  5. Jen August 27, 2015 at 2:57 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for this fabulous integrated lesson! I look forward to trying it out with my junior students this fall.

    • Katie September 9, 2015 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Thanks Jen! I’d love to hear how it works out with your students.

      – Katie

  6. Jennifer September 23, 2015 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    This looks like the perfect lesson plan for my students who have been working on name chants. Adding in the tech aspect to their lessons will greatly enhance their learning experience.
    I’m having trouble downloading the lesson to my email address so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  7. Bruce September 24, 2015 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    Hi! Cool audio of the student’s work. How long does it take to get the downloadable lesson plan after clicking the button?

    • Katie October 9, 2015 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Bruce – it usually arrives straight away, but sometimes after a few minutes. Just check your spam folder in case it ended up there instead

  8. Jan Lawrence October 19, 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    HI Katie

    I’m teaching in a school where 95% of the students speak another language. It was a real challenge to have them rhyme. But I was open about the rhyming aspect. They loved using GarageBand and they loved the fun of writing about themselves. It was also an easy way for me to continue my technology journey. Thank you. JL

    • Katie November 5, 2015 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Jan – thanks so much for writing to let me know that it worked. That’s so good to hear!

  9. Sharon November 5, 2015 at 9:54 am - Reply

    This is exactly the type of thing i need. Step by step and how to introduce concepts to students and use 1:1 iPads. In general people mention apps that are good but there is no “how to” on actually using it. I can search all afternoon about various things to use but it is hard to implement them directly into a lesson or theme without a plan! I hope you have more of these….this is what I need!

    • Katie November 5, 2015 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sharon! It’s always that type of information that I’m looking for too and it’s very difficult to find anywhere. That’s why I started created lesson plans and project ideas myself. If you’d like more lesson plan ideas, I have a collection of 22 (which have written instructions, but also videos as well) in the iPad Projects For The Music Classroom ebook.

  10. Sinead February 1, 2016 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Thanks Katie. We have one ipad for the class. This is a great way to make it work for everyone. Thanks for doing the hard work of putting in the learning standards!

    • Katie April 6, 2016 at 12:08 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sinead 🙂

  11. […] >>Click here to download your copy<< Favourite New Features 1. The graphic user interface has had a make-over and the new look and feel of MuseScore is clean and pleasing on the eye. 2. Similar to the inspector panel you find in Microsoft Word MuseScore’s Inspector gives you quick and easy access to the settings for the currently-selected element in your score. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Save Time With Tutorial Videos. Rap My Name [Free Music Tech Lesson Plan] | Midnight Music. […]

  12. Daniel June 20, 2016 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Hi Katie! I am working on a grad class in technology, and I appreciate that you have this lesson as an available resource for my portfolio. Keep up the good work!

    • Katie June 21, 2016 at 8:40 am - Reply

      Thanks Daniel! Good luck with the class 🙂

  13. MUSIKA LEHENENGO EGUNA | Pearltrees August 29, 2016 at 1:44 am - Reply

    […] Rap My Name [Free Music Tech Lesson Plan] | Midnight Music. Free Music Technology Lesson Plans This is the first of a new ongoing series of more “formal” lesson plans that suggest simple ways to incorporate technology into music lessons. I’m aiming to map each lesson to the US and Australian national standards for music education (UK coming soon too!). I’d love to know what you think about that idea: is it useful for you? What types of things would you like to see? Leave a comment below letting me know what you think. […]

  14. […] school music therapy ideas, trying to find something new and engaging. And suddenly I came across a music education post about using music software to write an “about me” rap, complete with notation and a fantastic example on Soundcloud. That was it! I snatched up the idea […]

  15. Louise January 15, 2018 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    Thanks for sharing this great idea. I am wondering if you have the rap version loop without Josh? I would like to use the exact music and repeat it for the students. I am having trouble finding a suitable rap back track, and we don’t have garage band.
    Thanks Louise

    • Katie January 17, 2018 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Hi Louise! No I don’t have the backing without Josh unfortunately. Creating the backing is a great exercise for the students to do and you don’t need GarageBand. I would suggest looking at Option 3 above which uses Groove Pizza. Groove Pizza is a free online drum sequencer which works on any device. It’s really simple to use and lots of fun and the students will enjoy it. They just need to set up a pattern on the “pizza circle” (or even use the example pattern that appears when you first go to the website) and then they can rap over that.

  16. Louise January 22, 2018 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Thank you very much Katie, I will give that a go! Many thanks, Louise

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