Dear NAfME: How Can I Create Music Worksheets and Presentations?

Dear NAfME,

“Okay, so this is a question I’m not sure I’ll get an answer for because it may require some to give up trade secrets, but I’m always in AWE of some of the worksheets/PowerPoint presentations I find on Teachers Pay Teachers. Obviously, with the PowerPoints, some are just very skilled with the animation tools, but with the worksheets, what program(s) can I use?”

-Mari, Glenolden, PA




Answers from Music Educators:


“I use MusicEd font in Microsoft Word to make anything containing rhythm. No notation program needed. You can use it in PowerPoint or Smart Notebook or any other program that lets you change fonts.” –Rachel


 “I use a combo of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint., then save as a PDF.” –Angie


 Not sure what MusicEd Font is? Here’s a YouTube Tutorial!


“PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat. Also keynote sometimes since I’m on a Mac. Photoshop for graphics editing. My store is Pitch Publications.” –Shelley


“I have used publisher to create several things and then just imported them into PowerPoint or saved as a PDF. However, I know publisher is not offered on the new office365.” –Stephanie


 “I use PowerPoint and save it as a pdf so it protects the clipart that I buy. I also use a free font called rhythms.” –Emmie


 “I’ve started making things with the boarders that you can get free from TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers). I just searched “Free borders” and you can find quite a bit of stuff. Then download them and use the boarder as a picture file in Word. The trick is to Format the picture and make sure it’s “behind text”. Takes a little savvy but not too hard.”  –Braun


“I use Keynote for Apple instead of PowerPoint. I use it for presentations and worksheets.” –Sara


“I use Microsoft Publisher and occasionally Photoshop. Publisher is an amazing program!” –Hallie


“I’ve found for creating slideshows and movies with music Keynote works with MUCH better precision than PowerPoint. I literally cannot change to the beat, or fast enough, when using PowerPoint.” –Darya


“I export to pdf from Preview in Mac, after I’ve saved it as a PDF. I’ve heard it works, and everything I’ve ever had tested is fine. I’ve even emailed pages of the file to the creators of clip art to see if they could do it. I’ve never had problem.” –Melissa


“I personally have Adobe Acrobat Pro on my Mac, and I can very easily extract clipart images just by right clicking on the image. I also export my Keynotes to JPEG images, place the images in a Keynote, and then export that file into a PDF. By doing this, the images are completely flattened and clipart cannot be extracted.” –Jena


“I use PowerPoint too! (Although I’ve been a Mac advocate for a while and I am pretty sure keynote has some better options. For me, Creating worksheets takes lots of trial and error. I’ve watched tons of tutorials online and I just kept trying different techniques until I found what worked for me! Teachers pay teachers has tons of free borders and images if you are looking for a place to start!” –Cori


 Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 2.53.53 PM




A List of 20 Free Tools for Teachers to Create Awesome Presentations and Slideshows


Make Your Own Printable Worksheets


FREE Custom Worksheets, Games, and Other Resources for Educators


Here’s a blog post about where to get music fonts and how to use them — so you create your own music worksheets!


Make Your Own Music Worksheets Tutorial


Make Your Own Notebooking Pages


PowerPoint Basics for Teachers


Resources for Making Better PowerPoint Presentations


27 Presentation Tips for Students and Teachers


TEDx Talk on Presentation Tips for Teachers


Worksheets for Finale (which includes hundreds of ready-made, educator-approved templates)



Do you have any additional recommendations? Share them with us in the comment section below!

Kristen Rencher, Social Media and Online Community Coordinator, December 18, 2014. © National Association for Music Education (