K-12 School Computer Networking/Chapter 25/musiceducation
Quick Reference Music Education Websites
This page will list and describe websites that have application in a music classroom. Some of the sites listed are compilations of other music education websites themselves. As more websites are created, a comprehensive catalog is indispensable when trying to quickly find sites that suit the need of the teacher. For this reason this page will sometimes offer a catalog within a catalog
Quick Reference can be used by educators as a starting point for ideas for activities and learning in their classroom. Each link has a brief description of what is on the site and suggestions for potential uses.
Artist House Music is a catalog of other music education links and was published in 2006. The following is taken from the main page. “A search for “music education” using any search engine literally yields hundreds of thousands of links. Are you looking for teaching resources such as lesson plans, down loadable media materials such as MIDI and audio files, Web sites that can be used in the classroom to demonstrate musical concepts, or information on specific music related topics? To get you started, here are 25 Web sites that represent some of the best music education resources online”.
This site is sponsored by the San Francisco Orchestra and allows students to explore the instruments of the orchestra. The site is very basic and could be navigated by even young elementary students.
By clicking on pictures of the instruments, factual information will appear in addition to sound clips. There is also a section that informs students about basics of music like pitch, harmony, melody, rhythms, symbols etc.. A small section of the website is devoted to students investigating their own creativity with a composition and performance section. However, the composition section is very simplistic. Pre-written blocks of music can be placed on a staff. The student may only manipulate the order of the blocks.
The NIU World Music Instrument Collection is a site that is valuable for people of any age, but has a format that is accessible for very young elementary students. The site is devoted to discovering hundreds instruments from around the world. The instruments presented are all ethnic and non-orchestral.
The layout of the site is very clean and clear. The following is from the home page. “Welcome to the NIU collection of musical instruments from around the world. These instruments can be viewed using a variety of methods. If you know the name of the instrument you can find it by using the Alphabetic icon. If you would like to learn about musical instruments from various regions of the world use the World map icon. Musical instruments are often classified as chordophones (strings), aerophones (woodwinds and brasses), idiophones (percussion), and membranophones (drums) which are listed under the Classification icon. The Ensemble icon will take you to examples of the various instruments being played in groups or as solos. Finally you can always return to this page by clicking in the Home icon. Which ever path you take, have fun with the many musical instruments throughout the world.”
All the instruments have a sound clip (run by Quicktime) to accompany the picture. Pictures also may be printed. The quality is clear and very useful for potential projects.
The website is sponsored by the New York Philharmonic and is designed to be an interactive experience for students learning about music. There are many facets to this site, each with a great deal of depth. This is one of the most comprehensive and interactive sites. Children as young as third or fourth grade could enjoy this site, and it could still be relevant to early high school students.
There are nine “rooms” to visit. The Main Stage, Composer’s Gallery, Musicians Lounge, Instrument Labs, Composition Workshops, Games Room, Instrument Storage, Dressing Rooms, Newsstand.
- Main Stage: The main stage is where there are links for all the other “rooms”. Students can see all the activities in one spot.
- Composer’s Gallery: The composer gallery has a character that allows students to “walk” through an art gallery with pictures of composers. Clicking on a picture will bring up a bio of the composer. This format is somewhat interactive.
- Musician’s Lounge: The Musician’s Lounge is the backstage, or green room for the members of the orchestra. The students can “chat” with the musicians and find out tidbits of trivia on the players. For example, there is information like, where they went to elementary school and how they started playing their instrument. Each chatting musician has a link about the instrument they play.
- Instrument Labs: The instrument lab shows a number of nontraditional instruments. By clicking on an instrument, a window with directions on how to fabricate the instrument pops-up. Just like the Composer’s gallery, the students can “walk” through the instrument lab and look at all the wacky instruments.
- Composition Workshops: The composition workshop is very interactive. The music writing process is very structured so that anyone can use it. Blocks of pre-written music can be dragged from a bank and dropped on to a staff. Then the composer can listen to the summation of the blocks and edit the position of the pre-written blocks. The music available to compose is based on western tonal harmony.
- Games Room: There are eleven games to select from in the game room. Many of the games are based on very popular mainstream games.
- Piccolo Pete is like Super Mario Brothers.
- Music Quest is a RPG like Star Wars.
- Puzzles and Quizzes are seat work activities.
- Percussion Showdown is a rhythmic matching and composition competition.
- Musical Mingles is iconic notation that is streaming so music may be composed live. There are style settings for the composition, i.e. jazz, classical. It is possible to hear what other kids have done; like a composer’s forum.
- Music Match is matching audio and visual cards; Sometimes a song must match the same song, or the correct composer must be matched with their own writing.
- Make Your Own Instrument is a virtual Partch project but no sound. Harry Partch was a musician inventor from California that would take old junk and make musical instruments. This is a virtual version of that.
- The Orchestra Station and Minuet Mixer also in the composition workshop.
- Instrument Frenzy is a bit like snood. Instruments must be categorized by family: woodwind, brass, percussion, string.
- Instrument Storage: In the instrument storage room, the student can “walk” around the locker room where the instruments are kept. By clicking on an instrument, a new window appears and historical and practical information comes up about that instrument. In this new window there is a tab for “friends and relatives”. “Friends and Relatives” are instruments from around the world that are related to orchestral instrument in the storage room. There are also listening links to hear what that instrument sounds like.
- Dressing rooms: In the dressing room, the student can also “walk” to the private rooms of all the NY Phil conductors and many of the most notable soloists. Like composers gallery, by clicking on the picture of the soloist/conductor their bio will come up. Some of the soloists and conductors have interviews on video.
- Newsstand: This room has “newspapers” with great anecdotal stories on composers.
This site is devoted to the listening of music. People in the fourth grade and older can find this site manageable and pertinent.
Pandora is internet radio that allows the user to customize a “station” based on personal preferences. When a song is presented, the listener may skip it, click “I like this song” or click “I don’t like this song”. Based on the human input, Pandora will begin to “learn” the users preferences. The next song presented on the radio will be centered on the feedback from the previous song.
Students could be presented with a new artist\composer to explore. By using this site they can be exposed to new music and be in control of the direction their tastes take them. The students can make connections between a classical composer and current pop-culture music.
Below is Pandora’s self description:
“With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart's content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings - new and old, well known and completely obscure - to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you. You can create up to 100 unique "stations." And you can even refine them. If it's not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you.
The Music Genome Project was founded by musicians and music-lovers. We believe in the value of music and have a profound respect for those who create it. We like all kinds of music, from the most obtuse bebop, to the most tripped-out drum n bass, to the simplest catchy pop tune. Our mission is to help you connect with the music YOU like”.
8 notes.com offers free sheet music to download and print. Much of the music requires at least two years of study on an instrument to be able to perform. A great web site for students to find music interesting to them not found in traditional band or lesson books.
The site is very easy to navigate and find music transposed for any Western orchestral instrument. There is also music for voice, woodwind ensembles, string ensembles, and brass ensembles. The student simply has to click on the picture of the instrument they play.
The gif file is the free down loadable and printable file available. Each song has an accompanying midi file so the students can hear what the piece sounds like. Some of the more popular instruments, like flute, also have theory instruction links.
Bridge to Music is intended for high school students and people interested in higher education in music.
The site is organized into categories: Music school, Music Lessons and Teachers, Music Classes and Workshops, and Music Festivals. These categories can be searched by instrument, state, and genre.
Below if Bridge to Music’s own description:
“Bridge to Music is the perfect resource guide for musicians of every level. Our quickly expanding directory features over 3,000 music schools, classes, workshops, music festivals and a brand new private teacher listing. Finding a musical program specific to your needs has never been easier!Our online guide provides all the essential information you'll need. Whether you're searching for a bachelor's or master's program, or searching for a private teacher, workshop or festival, we'll help you narrow down your search, make comparisons and help you contact the programs of your choice”.
Creating music is designed for young elementary school children.
There are composition opportunities, ear training, and imaginative play. The site is actually advertising products for purchase. However, the demonstration activities are free and quite applicable in a young general music classroom.
The following is the sites own statement: “Creatingmusic.com is a children's online creative music environment for children of all ages. It's a place for kids to compose music, play with musical performance, music games and music puzzles”.