The Pandemic forced us all online -- hastily. And as we scrambled to keep our students engaged and businesses running, many of us discovered online tools that made our online learning spaces even stronger. And some of us, myself included, have even kept a portion of our student body in a virtual setting.
I now teach students all over the world, from Calirfornia to Uganda in Africa!
Here are some of my favorite online resources that have changed the teaching game for me!
This is a great way to add playfulness to lessons. In-person, you might offer a music game as a reward for a positive lesson. Chrome Music Lab can be the virtual equivalent!
Fun features include a shared piano where students and teachers can play on the same instrument from miles apart! Each appears as a cute little animal curser!
The chord builder is also a fun and engaging activity! I like to use this one to teach students about the 1, 5, and 5 major chords, and invite them to start writing their own 1-4-5 chord progressions this way! Unfortunately, you can only stick to all major, or all minor chords, so it is not possible to explore all chords in a key!
If you have a group class with young learners, I highly recommend the Kandisky white-board, which adds pitch to whatever drawing you make! I had a group of kindergarteners, and the belly laughs that would transcend the distance between us made all the chaos of online learning worth it! I would write each kid's name out, and then press "play" to hear how everyone's name would sound. It's a good way to expose kids to a visual representation of notes and pitch.
I think Bandlab for Education is the single best thing to have happened to music education this century.
It's a cloud-based recording program (like Soundtrap but FREE) that is an offshoot of its adult social media version Bandlab. Unlike regular Bandlab, which allows users all over the world to connect with each other and collaborate on tracks, Bandlab for Education creates a safe garden classroom facilitated by an educator. If you make an account as a teacher, you can set up classrooms for your students, send out assignments, and more. Kids in the class can collaborate with each other, and you can support students remotely!
There are tons of great resources available on the Bandlab Blog.
If your students need a little extra guidance, check out the 10 Step Bandlab Music Production Project available in my TPT store! (Sample of the multi-week project below!)
If you are incorporating songwriting and lyrics into your lessons, make sure you and your students are equipped with RhymeZone!
This day in music is a website that literally tells you EVERYTHING that has happened today in the history of music. You wouldn't believe the amount of "fun facts" I now have spinning around my head spanning centuries!
I like to use this kid-friendly youtube account to engage my minecraft-obsessed students, and teach them a little about film scoring!
I will mute one of the videos and ask my student to improvise (within a set of specific guidelines) musical ideas over the action of the video!