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

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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.

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