Monday, May 28, 2012

Free Online Metronomes

For several years, a pendulum metronome was on my classroom wishlist; I wanted students to be able to see the arm moving side to side with the beat. But, with our dwindling budget, I could never justify spending that much money on a visual aid. The classic Wittner is currently on sale on for $57.20.

In 2010, I started searching online for interactive metronomes. Most of the metronomes I found were digital. They were perfectly fine tools for musicians to use for practicing, but none provided the moving arm that I wanted the students to see.
  I was looking at the suggested resource sites from my district's technology department and saw the online-stopwatch site. They have a lot of neat tools for counting time, etc. So, I emailed a suggestion that they add a metronome and they were very interested. They sent me emails as they were developing the tool and I got to provide input throughout the design process. It felt amazing to make a suggestion and have someone actually listen.

This metronome has 6 different sounds to choose from. It has a volume control so you don't have to change the master volume of your entire computer. Down in the corner the Italian tempo terms are listed next to the beats per minute (one of my suggestions). This is also available for free download! They even wrote a little message at the top giving me credit for the suggestion!

If you are not familiar with, you should check it out. There are many varieties of timers and counters. A few are available for free download. I have the basic timer as a shortcut on my computer desktop for quick and easy access. Many teachers use these timers everyday for timed activities. There are many varieties you can change them often so the students do not get bored.

Although I did not find this during my searches in 2010 (it likely was not in existence then), today I found another mechanical metronome that features a movable pendulum arm. This metronome looks more life-like. When you first start the metronome you even hear sounds as you wind it up. However, the background is black and that makes it very hard to see on the projector in my classroom. Also, it only features one clicking sound, whereas the online-stopwatch metronome has six sounds to choose from. You may choose which one works best for your classroom.

The most important lesson I learned during this entire process: "ask and ye shall receive." I was frustrated that I could not find the resource I wanted. I thought other teachers may have the same frustrations, so I made a suggestion and someone actually listened! How amazing! It would be a wonderful world if every concern and suggestion were answered so swiftly. I realize this world is in my fantasy, but you never know who is willing to listen if you don't even bother to ask! I hope you can find some of these free online tools helpful. If you can't find a tool to meet your needs, don't be afraid to email your suggestions! Someone might actually listen!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the kind comments Mrs. Dennis :-)

    We love suggestions for new features on the site – especially from teachers – remember – if you have an idea – please email us – and we will try our hardest to make it happen. This is a free service – as the more tools/timers/etc we have on the site – the better the site is!

    Thanks again!