In this blog we discuss classroom projects that use music technology:
- Musical MakerSpace
- Chrome Music Lab
- Daily Mindfulness
- Video Game Music Design
- Story Narration
- Rap Creation
- Public Service Announcements
- Debate Positions
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1. Musical MakerSpace
This is one of my favorite classroom projects with music technology. You’ve probably heard about the MakerSpace in education before. These are places where students work together to create while sharing ideas and equipment. Typical MakerSpaces require equipment such as 3D printers and milling machines, but imagine setting up a MakerSpace with a different theme – music! Set up stations of recycled goods (cans, string, boxes, rubber bands, etc) and encourage students to create their own instruments and record their own beats and music. Have students record their instruments and songs with something like the Chrome Extension Simple Audio Recorder or experiment their sounds in the Chrome Music Lab.
2. Blend Art and Science with Music
Use the experimental Chrome Music Lab to have students plays and experiment with sound and music. The Chrome Music Lab has endless possibilities for lessons, but it’s the best quality is that is fun! There are many different “experiments” that students can play with, including Song and Rhythm Makers, Spectrogram Generator, Voice Spinner, and Kandinsky. Consider having them “see” their singing voices or instrument sounds with the Spectrogram. Teach about particles and waves with the Sound Wave Experiment. Have students create a drawing and then “listen” to that drawing with the Kandinsky Experiment. So much to explore!
3. Daily Mindfulness with GoNoodle
This is one of the best classroom projects with music technology for younger students. Have them lead a daily mindfulness activity with GoNoodle. GoNoodle offers free, research-based activities that engage students through videos and music. The videos are extremely engaging and will appeal to younger students immediately. Your students will learn, relax and have fun, all at the same time and with almost no effort put in by you! Each class also creates a “champ” that levels up after certain numbers of activities are completed.
4. Design a Video Game with Music
All kids love games. All adults love games. Let’s use that in the classroom! Have your students design a video game and theme music to go with it using BeepBox. BeepBox is a free digital music creator that allows you to add various tones that play in a loop. Tones are quickly and easily added or changed by clicking on grey and brown rectangles. All audio is stored in the URL, so simply copy-paste the URL to save or share your song. This is a really cool website and is perfect for a video game design project.
5. Narrate a Story with Music
Record a story (GarageBand, MixCraft, Soundation). Edit the voices to be high-pitched or low-pitched in a way that is appropriate to the story. These simple sounds edits can be done easily in most of the tech listed above. For older students, have them focus on the tone and pacing of their speech for dramatic effect. The icing on the cake: also ask students to create or find music and add it to the background of the recorded story. If your students have multiple audio tracks (one with their voice and one with the music) consider using Audacity to overlay them. Audacity is free and super easy to use.
6. Concept Rap
Have your students write a rap about a concept they are learning in class. Be sure to give them tips on rap creation. Tell them how many measures and verses to include so they feel more supported at the beginning of their creations. A good place to start is a 4-8 measure rap about a classroom concept. Create a drumbeat with Groove Pizza. Groove Pizza is free, has no ads, was created by NYU, and is a great tool for schools. It lets you add drum sound effects, set the desired beats per minute among other adjustments, and then download or share on social media when done. Have students play the accompanying music and perform their rap over top. Record and/or share when done!
7. Debate Position Introduction
Using Headliner to make an introduction to a debate position or presentation. Headliner allows you to combine audio, video, and images into one, new, edited video file. What separates it from other similar programs is that it also adds an “audiogram” visualization of audio tracks. You may have seen Instagram posts with the little sounds bars across the image that give you a picture of the audio. Headliner creates and adds these soundbars for you! As an added element, ask your students to incorporate music in the background as well.
8. Public Service Announcements
Enhance a classic classroom project with music technology! Capture your students’ attention by having them make a PSA about an issue they are concerned with. Begin this project in Google Slides as students create slides that will be the background images to their PSA. Insert text, images, and video in a captivating way. Then use a ScreenCast recorder like Screencast-o-matic or Screencastify to record their narration over these slides. Finally, have students edit with WeVideo to add interest-provoking or mood-setting music. Share on social media when completed and track each student’s views, likes, and shares.
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