playing instruments at state fair

Are You Into It?

Music rocks! It's all around us. It's in movies, TV, radio, i-pods, computers, school, concerts, and well, just about everywhere! Music sets the mood and is the focus for voice or instrumental performances. Challenge yourself to learn or increase your skill level!

  • Enhance your performance skills
  • Explore various types of music
  • Compose or arrange music
  • Make your own musical instruments

Here’s what you can do all year!

Starting Out Basic / Level 1

  • Perform your music in different places; compare how location affects your sound
  • Interview members of your family about their favorite music
  • Investigate the role of a music conductor or director
  • Identify an event or place you'd like to perform (4-H share-the-fun, senior center, service clubs, or shopping mall); plan out your performance and perform

Learning More Intermediate / Level 2

  • Dig into the works by a single composer or performer (solo or group)
  • Seek out music you usually do not listen to; compare with music you usually listen to
  • Discover what it takes for a group of musicians to stay together for a long time
  • Survey radio stations in your area and find out how they decide what music to play
  • Trace a musical style such as jazz or baroque

Expanding Horizons Advanced / Level 3

  • Compare and contrast different arrangements of the same piece of music
  • Write your own piece of music and have someone else test it out
  • Compose lyrics for an existing melody
  • Trace the history of an instrument that interests you
  • Explore the size, shape and materials of different instrument classes (woodwinds and brass) or instruments within a class (viola and violin)

Take It Further

Music Hot Sheet 
(color pdf)
Poster Exhibits Tip Sheet
(color pdf)
Exhibitor Fair Information Form
(Word or editable PDF)
Exhibit Evaluation Form (pdf)
Here are other opportunities to explore Music:

  • Participate in your county's Share-the-Fun event and compete for the opportunity to participate at the Iowa State Fair
  • Perform with a community band or chorus
  • Find a 4-H Song book and learn about the history of 4-H songs
  • Tour a recording studio and learn about producing a musical recording
  • Record your own performance!
  • Visit a music museum and learn about the history of an artist, instrument, or musical style
  • Is it fair time? Consider taking an exhibit, a piece of your project learning to the fair for judging and to show what you have learned throughout the year. It might get selected to go to the Iowa State Fair
  • Contact your county ISU Extension Office for other local workshops, activities, and events
  • Meet others interested in music! Check out camps at the Iowa 4-H Center
  • Attend Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and participate in workshops, motivational speakers and a community service project, even participate in the talent show.
  • Interested in a college education in the area of music? Schedule a visit to Iowa State University's Music Department.


Step It Up

Pass it on! Now that you know how, share it with others. Here are ideas to get you started.

  • Create a poster to promote musical performance
  • Write a review of a musical performance for your school or local newspaper
  • Write a poem and set it to music


  • Complete a Service-Learning project
  • Perform at community events or a nursing home
  • Assist with Sunday school music at your church, temple, etc.
  • Volunteer to sing the national anthem at community sporting events


  • Organize a talent show to increase awareness of the musical talents of other 4-H'ers
  • Organize a club outing to a musical performance
  • Volunteer to teach or lead music at a 4-H day camp

Exhibit Ideas

  • Develop your musical abilities and perform music
  • Learn about and report on a particular style of music and its history
  • Compose or arrange music
  • Report on a particular composer
  • Report on how a musical instrument is made and how it affects sound
  • Make a poster listing common musical notations
  • Trace the history of an instrument over time and changes made - exhibit a timeline
  • Interview an organizer of musical performances about how advertising affects attendance; create a display about what you learned
  • Organize and participate in Share the Fun with other club members
  • Report on how music is used to add meaning or heighten emotions in films or TV shows
  • Report on the relationship of music to movement, such as in dance, marching, or ice skating
  • Record yourself performing; Exhibit your recording
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