Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monkey Machine - Experiment With Rhythms

Having students experiment with rhythms on a drum set is usually a very loud experience for the students and for anyone within earshot of those students. That probably explains why my elementary school music class was held in a room behind the cafeteria kitchen and hundreds of yards away from any other classroom. Fortunately, developments in technology have made it possible for students to experiment with drum rhythms on a quieter scale than was previously possible. One such tool that makes this possible is Monkey Machine.

Monkey Machine is a free web-based program that allows students to experiment with drum set sounds and rhythms. Using Monkey Machine students can customize the selection of drums and cymbals in their virtual drum set. Monkey Machine also allows students to customize the tempo in their drum tracks and the frequency with which each drum or cymbal is played. All tracks created using Monkey Machine can be downloaded as MIDI files.
















Image credit:
Flickr user Dyanna.


Applications for Education
Monkey Machine could be a good resource for beginning music students to experiment with. Using Monkey Machine, even students that lack the ability to play the drums can discover how different drums and variations in tempo affect sounds of music.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Arts Edge - Podcasts and Lesson Plans
Classics for Kids - Classical Music Lesson Plans
Keeping Score - Study the Symphony