Music -- Theory and Practice
It is now well documented that children exposed to music learn faster and retain more -- which makes it all the more frustrating when schools cut costs by reducing or eliminating music programs.
But, as these sites demonstrate, a music program does not have to be expensive, and can be used to to introduce concepts in other areas from science to history to mathematics.
Using on-line resources and your classroom computer, you can include music in your everyday instruction.
How to Read Sheet Music
... by a 12 year old. A lighthearted, if not so helpful guide created by an unqualified individual. Enjoy!
The video was assembled by Julian Cianciolo, who also wrote the video's score. Makes a great introductory video.
- YouTube URL
Enjoy a random waltz theme following Mozart's Musical Dice Game (Musikalisches Würfelspiel) on your Android phone. A similar app is also available for the iPhone.
Attributed to Mozart, the game consists of 272 short pieces (bars) of music, 32 of which every time get combined to produce a unique one-minute waltz.
There are approx. 295,147,905,200,000,000,000 possible combinations and to listen to all of them you'll need about 561,544,720,700,000 years. As a comparison, our Universe is only 13,750,000,000 years old. Better get started!
Rhythmweb hosts sound files, among other resources in percussion, from around the world.
Music Theory, started by Ricci Adams while a HS Senior, has over twenty-five lessons and several on-line trainers and utilities.
The site, more appropriate for older students, includes lessons on note duration, chords, and composing, and interactive training games.
Why we love repetition in music
How many times does the chorus repeat in your favorite song? Repetition in music isn't just a feature of Western pop songs; it's a global phenomenon. Why? Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis walks us through the basic principles of the 'exposure effect,' detailing how repetition invites us into music as active participants, rather than passive listeners.
- YouTube URL
Judy & David's Fun Zone has everything musical for younger students, from sound clips to music themed coloring pages to a very complete song book.
The Science of Music within the Exploratorium site answers questions like how opera singers can hold their breath so long and what music kitchen objects can generate.
Graphically bold and accurate, not to be missed!.
PRS plays classical music (post copyright).
You can research composers, download MIDI files, and find instructional tips.
Mozart Meets 007
What happens when Mozart and James Bond collide? In addition to being great fun, Igudesman & Joo show how combining two styles or eras of music can lead to a greater appreciation of both.
Compositions like this can be a great way to gain and hold the interest of restless, young minds.
- YouTube URL
The New York Philharmonic displays an educational site, aimed for young children with photos and simple descriptions in such venues as the Musician's Lounge, Instrument Lab (make your own instruments!), and Dressing Rooms of guest artists.
A very engaging site.
The Jazz Hall of Fame is jam-packed with Big Band and Jazz history, music samples, headlines etc.
It is very comprehensive.
WebProject, sponsored as a Technology Challenge initiative by the DOEd, is an amazingly creative use of the Web for arts education.
Jazz at PBS was created to accompany Ken Burns' 10 part history of jazz.
In addition to rich biographies with artists playing, site visitors can visit the Jazz Lounge for structures and styles of this genre of music.
Particle Adventure demonstrates the connections between music and physics.
Physics and music have been related for millennia. The art and science of music acoustics are presented here, in musician-friendly format.
Children's Songs is another site providing both lyrics and playable MIDI music files.
The actual number of songs which can be played via the computer is extensive.
For teachers who can't read music this site is wonderful.
Here's a tip: When introducing a topic, look for related songs.
This works especially well in subjects line history and the humanities.
Well all remember Schoolhouse Rock.
Music is a powerful memory aid.