Showing posts with label music lesson plans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music lesson plans. Show all posts

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Create Live Music on the Web With Your Friends

Jam With Chrome is a fun new Google web tool. On Jam With Chrome (only works if you use the Chrome browser) you can play nineteen virtual instruments. Jams can have four musicians playing together in real-time over the web. It's an application that I had a bit of fun playing with this evening. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a native recording application built into Jam With Chrome. You could use a screencasting tool like Jing or Screenr to record your jam session.


Applications for Education
Jam With Chrome could be a fun app for students to use to practice improvising jams in a music appreciation course.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Joy Tunes - Learn Music Through Games

Joy Tunes is a neat web and iPad application for learning to play the recorder and the piano. Joy Tunes presents students with games to play with a recorder or a piano.

The recorder game from Joy Tunes is available for iPad and the web. To play the game you have to play the correct notes on your recorder. When you play the correct notes you can move forward in the game. The notes that are played on the recorder are picked up by the microphone on your iPad and on computer.


The piano game from Joy Tunes is available for iPads only right now. The concept is the same as for the recorder game. Play the notes on your piano or keyboard and your iPad picks up the sounds to give you feedback in the game.


Applications for Education
Playing the Joy Tunes games could be a good way to mix up music practice. I wouldn't replace practicing scales and other time-tested methods with playing these games, but playing the games could throw a new fun element into practice.

H/T to TechCrunch

Friday, September 16, 2011

Twenty Years of Grunge

Please excuse this small bit of self-indulgence as I take a trip down memory lane.

This morning I did something I hardly ever do anymore, I went directly to The New York Times homepage. There it was front and center, smacking me in the face with memories of middle school, a story about Seattle's music scene twenty years after Nirvana's release of Smells Like Teen Spirit. Embedded in the sidebar of the article are some multimedia elements including a six minute mini-documentary about Seattle's, Nirvana's, and other bands' roles in shaping the music scene of the 90's.

Two things struck me as I watched the video. First, I'm definitely getting older. Second, many of my students listen to bands today that were heavily influenced by the likes of Nirvana. So what's this have to do with education? Don't worry here's the tie-in. Music teachers looking to give a lesson on the development of the modern music scene might want to pass this article and video along to students. Similarly, social studies teachers trying to develop lessons on 1990's culture may want to give the article and video a look.

And for all of my Gen-X contemporaries, happy listening.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Simple App for Learning to Read Music

Music Notation Training is a simple website on which students can practice recognizing music notes. The offers practice for both bass and treble clefs. To use the site just type the letters of the notes you see displayed before you. Each time you type a letter you can instantly see if you were right or wrong. There are a few progressions through the site so that you don't have the same sequence of notes all the time.

Applications for Education
If you're a music teacher looking for a simple reading practice activity, Music Notation Training might be for you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beat Lab - Experiment With Beats and Sounds

Beat Lab is a free service through which you can experiment with thousands of sound and rhythm combinations. Using Beat Lab is easy. Beat Lab provides a grid on which you select the sounds you want to have played. You can specify how often you want each sound played and how quickly you want the sounds played. There are twelve default sounds provided in the Beat Lab grid. You can add more sounds by selecting "add more sounds" and choosing from the huge catalog of sounds. If the sound you want isn't available in the Beat Lab catalog, you can upload your own sounds.

Applications for Education
Beat Lab could be a good place for new music students to experiment with sounds and rhythms. With Beat Lab even students who can't play an instrument can experience how rhythms and blends of sounds create music.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Explore the Sounds of the Symphony at Arts Alive

Arts Alive is an educational website produced by Canada's National Arts Centre. Arts Alive is divided into three main sections; music, theatre, and dance. I recently spent some time exploring the music section of Arts Alive.

In the music section of Arts Alive there is a feature called the Instrument Lab. In the Instrument Lab students can click on an interactive map of an orchestra stage. Students can click on a section of the stage to view and hear the instruments in that section.

The Music Activities and Games section of Arts Alive gives students the chance to compose a short piece using a drag and drop interface. The same section also offers an instrument identification game and a composer identification game.

Applications for Education
Arts Alive offers a selection of resources for teachers. That selection includes downloadable play-along recorder music and lesson plans for teaching about Mozart's and Beethoven's compositions.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Online Music Lessons, Quizzes, and Games

Image Credit: Jazzmanian
Music Tech Teacher is a site developed by a music technology teacher, Ms. Karen Garrett, in Birmingham, Alabama. On Music Tech Teacher you can find dozens of online music lessons, quizzes, and games designed to help elementary school students learn to read music, learn to play music, and learn about music technology. Take a look at the piano practice section of Music Tech Teacher to find some basic piano lessons that can be learned using just a keyboard or mouse. Or explore the quiz section about musicians to test your knowledge of people like Ellington, Joplin, or Gillespie.

Applications for Education
Music Tech Teacher could be an excellent resource for teachers looking to find some music activities that students can use independently at home or in the classroom. Don't have enough pianos or keyboards to go around? Use the online piano practice to introduce students to some of the basics before they take a turn at the real thing.

H/T to Dianne Krause

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New York Philharmonic Archives Are Now Online

The New York Philharmonic is putting its archives online. While the entire collection is not yet digitized and online, there is a lot of good stuff available now. If you visit the New York Philharmonic archives today you will find images, programs, scores, and business documents. In the near future you will be able to find audio and video recordings in the archives as well as press clippings and concert magazines. You can search the archives by date, by era, or by artifact type.

Learn more about the New York Philharmonic archives in the video below.


Applications for Education
The New York Philharmonic archives could be a great resource for teachers and students of music history. When the audio and video elements come online, the archives will become a great resource for teachers of music appreciation too.

H/T to Open Culture

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Interactive Music Theory Lessons

I wrote about Ricci Adams' MusicTheory.net a couple of years ago, but since then some new things have been added to it that are worth noting. MusicTheory.net still offers music theory lessons covering everything from basic note recognition to difficult chord inversions. The lessons can now be customized to test users on the notes and concepts they need to practice the most. MusicTheory.net also offers calculators and tools handy for composing music. And if you just need some staff paper, MusicTheory.net offers sheets that you can print.
Applications for Education
MusicTheory.net's lessons and practice activities offer a range of difficulty wide enough for the site to be used by brand new music students and older music students alike.

Friday, January 7, 2011

11 Art & Music Resources to Try in 2011

All week I've started the day with a list of good resources to try in different content areas. To wrap up the week I bring you eleven good art and music resources to try in 2011. Earlier this week I shared mathematics resources, science resources, language arts resources, and social studies resources.

The Museum of Modern Art offers a sizable collection of online resources for teaching art lessons. Part of that collection is a series of lesson plans, but there are also collections of art for students, an art game for young (5-8 years old) students, interactive activities for older students, and podcasts about art and artists. The MOMA lesson plans collection can be searched by theme, artist, medium, or subject. If the lesson plans in the collection don't offer quite what you're looking for, MOMA has free resources you can use in developing your own plans. MOMA offers many images and PDFs that you can use in developing own lessons and or slideshows.

The Getty Museum has introduced a new way to view art, augmented reality. As employed by The Getty, augmented reality creates 3D displays of art from printed PDF codes displayed in front of a webcam. The example that The Getty provides in this video is a 3D display of one of the cabinets of curiosities created by Albert Janszoon Vinckenbrinck. If you want to try it for yourself after watching the video, the directions are available here.

Art Babble is a video website designed and maintained by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The purpose of Art Babble is to provide a place for people to learn about the creation of art, artists, and collections through quality video productions. Visitors to Art Babble will find videos related to many forms of and formats for art. Browse the video channels and you'll find videos covering a wide array of topics including abstract art, European Art and Design, African Art, graphic design, glass, sculpture, surrealism, and much more.

Smarthistory is a free online alternative to expensive art history textbooks. Smarthistory was developed by art history professors Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Smarthistory features more than just images of notable works of art. Videos lessons, VoiceThread lessons, and audio lessons about eras and themes in art history are what make Smarthistory a valuable resource. Students can browse all of the resources of Smarthistory by artist name, style of work, theme, or time period.

MOOM, the Museum of Online Museums, is a list of museums that offer online exhibitions. In some cases the museums include virtual tours and in other cases the museums online exhibits are simple photo galleries. Some of the notable museums featured in the Museum of Online Museums include the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Incredibox is a neat website that allows you to create unique rhythms and sounds from drag-and-drop menu. The sounds in the menus are recordings of a Bobby McFerrin-like artist making "human beat box" sounds. You can experiment with different sound loops, choruses, and instrumental sounds to create your own unique sound loops. To use Incredibox just head over to the website, select the English or French version, then start mixing sounds by dragging from the menu to the "people field." Every time you add a new sound a new person appears in the screen. Click a person to delete the sound he represents.

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.

The San Francisco Symphony's website Keeping Score is a comprehensive website full of educational materials about composers, scores, musical techniques, and symphonies. There are two elements of Keeping Score that should be of particular interest to educators. The most immediately accessible section of Keeping Score is the interactive education elements that contain videos, images, and texts that tell the stories of composers. The interactive section also features explanations of musical techniques, the history of notable events and themes in the symphonic world, and analysis of various scores.

The Science of Music, created by the folks at Exploratorium, is a fun series of lessons and activities about music. The Science of Music offers six exhibits containing interactive elements for students to use in exploring rhythms and sounds. One of the exhibits that I particularly enjoyed experimenting with is Kitchen Sink-o-Pation. In Kitchen Sink-o-Pation students build syncopated rhythms using kitchen appliances, pots, pans, and glasses. In addition to the interactive exhibits, Science of Music hosts four short movies featuring musicians talking about the science of music. Science of Music's questions section is a list of six questions commonly asked about music. Each question is provided with a detailed answer and explanation. Try this one as an example, why does my singing sound so great in the shower?

Classics for Kids, produced by Cincinnati Public Radio, offers lesson plans, podcasts, and games for teaching kids about classical music. The lesson plans are designed for use in K-5 settings. All of the lesson plans are available as PDFs. Activity sheets are also available as accompaniments to recordings of classical composers. In the games section of Classics for Kids students can develop their own compositions or practice identifying music and composers. As a reference for students, Classics for Kids offers a dictionary of music terms.

Arts Edge, produced by the Kennedy Center, is a collection of podcasts, lesson plans, and links for teaching music and culture. The podcast directory is where you will find an eclectic collection of podcasts featuring music ranging from Jazz in DC to Music from China. The "Teach" section of Arts Edge is a good place to find lesson plans for teaching music and culture. As a teacher of US History, the lesson on Civil War music caught my attention.

Bonus Item: Herbie Hancock performing at TED. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

11 Operas in 10 Minutes

Operas don't appeal to the typical high school student. Nonetheless, teachers of music theory and music appreciation classes do try to expose their students to the opera. The video below covers the story lines of eleven classic operas.

A similar, though not quite as well-produced video covers ten other operas below.

Thanks to Open Culture for the first video.

Applications for Education
Although certainly not an in-depth analysis or summary of any opera, the videos below could be useful as review or introduction resources for a music appreciation course.

On a related note, you might want to check out Shmoop's list of study materials related to Shakespeare.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Music from North Korea & Around the Globe

The BBC Radio World Music Archive is comprised of music recordings gathered over the course of ten years from countries all over the globe. The collection includes recordings from some dangerous and hard to reach places like North Korea and Iraq. In fact, the BBC reports that the recording from North Korea is the first radio recording done by anyone outside of the North Korean government.

Applications for Education
The BBC World Music Archive could be a good resource for teaching lessons on world culture through 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
Music Theory Lessons and Tutorials

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

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Science of Music

The Science of Music, created by the folks at Exploratorium, is a fun series of lessons and activities about music. The Science of Music offers six exhibits containing interactive elements for students to use in exploring rhythms and sounds. One of the exhibits that I particularly enjoyed experimenting with is Kitchen Sink-o-Pation. In Kitchen Sink-o-Pation students build syncopated rhythms using kitchen appliances, pots, pans, and glasses.

In addition to the interactive exhibits, Science of Music hosts four short movies featuring musicians talking about the science of music. Science of Music's questions section is a list of six questions commonly asked about music. Each question is provided with a detailed answer and explanation. Try this one as an example, why does my singing sound so great in the shower?
















Thanks to Janet Kenney for sharing this resource with me.


Applications for Education

The Science of Music could be a fun way to combine elements of science and math with a music lesson. Science of Music could be used by students who do not have any prior background in music while at the same time it could be enjoyed by students who have some background in music theory.

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Keeping Score - Study the Symphony

The San Francisco Symphony's website Keeping Score is up for a Webby Award this year. Keeping Score is a comprehensive website full of educational materials about composers, scores, musical techniques, and symphonies.

There are two elements of Keeping Score that should be of particular interest to educators. The most immediately accessible section of Keeping Score is the interactive education elements that contain videos, images, and texts that tell the stories of composers. The interactive section also features explanations of musical techniques, the history of notable events and themes in the symphonic world, and analysis of various scores.















The second section of Keeping Score that teachers will be drawn to is the lesson plan library. In the lesson plan library teachers will find lesson plans developed to incorporate elements of the Keeping Score website. There are lesson plans appropriate for every grade level.

Applications for Education
What I like about Keeping Score is that while the materials are obviously appropriate for music classes, there are also materials that could be used in a social studies classroom. The stories of composers and the history section provide teachers with opportunities to talk about what was going on in the world when the composers were creating their scores and how that may have affected what the composers created.

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
Music Theory Lessons and Tutorials

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wild Music - Sounds and Songs of Life

Wild Music is a fun and educational website on which students can learn about sounds commonly heard in nature. On Wild Music students can listen to the sounds of nature and explore what creates those sounds. Some of the activities students will find include a game of animal audio memory in which students hear sounds and have to match them to each other. Students can find activities such as The Mosquito in which they compare their hearing to the hearing of various animals.

Applications for Education
Wild Music is a resource that could be used by both science teachers and music teachers. Science teachers can use Wild Music as an exploration of the sounds animals make and why they make those sounds. Music teachers can use Wild Music to explore how the sounds of nature influence musicians.

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
Herbie Hancock Performs at TED

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Musopen - Free Recordings and Sheet Music

Musopen is an online library classical music of music recordings and sheet music that are in the public domain. All of the recordings on Musopen can be downloaded and or be embedded into your blog or website. The sheet music offered by Musopen is hosted by Scribd from where you can download or print the sheet music.

Applications for Education
Musopen could be a good resource for teachers of music theory as well as teachers of music performance. You could also use Musopen as an example of uses of public domain works.

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
Music Theory Lessons and Tutorials