Monday, June 11, 2012

We Love Phil Tulga!

My students and I love the website of Phil Tulga! If you are not already familiar with his site, here is a brief introduction.
He has many music games that integrate language arts, math, and science. He also has several different instructions to make homemade instruments.

Here are a few of our favorite games:

Musical Fraction Bars

This activity describes how to measure and make your own musical tubes similar to Boomwhackers. The interactive game allows students to compose with the colored bars and even play back their music in various tempi. The students can create harmony by stacking colored tubes. The colors of these tubes match the colors of the Boomwhackers; so, after composing a song, students can use Boomwhackers to play it themselves. There are also several preloaded songs students can choose to start with and then alter to make a variation. The students can create a song and then email it to a friend, parent, or teacher! This game provides endless fun!

Cucumber Pickle Machine

My students LOVE the Cucumber Pickle Machine. I don't know if it is the silly face made by the machine or just their love of pickles, but they could spend the entire class playing this game if I would let them! This game explores mixed meter with the 3-syllable word "cucumber" and the 2-syllable word "pickle". The white cucumbers and pickles are silences. Phil has also listed several popular meters for the students to create on the machine: rhuma, flamenco, clave, heartbeat, conga, short bell, fanga, samba, and the most popular "Mission Impossible."

Unifix Drum Machine

This game allows students to compose layered rhythms. The ostinatos repeat on a loop but you can also change the tempo. You can control which part you hear by turning each on or off by one easy click. You change the color of each square by clicking the square: blue=low, red=high, yellow=silence. There are several patterns available for the students to choose from or they can start from scratch and create their own. The students can see how there are 4 cubes grouped together. This can represent 4 beats in a measure or 4 subdivisions of the beat. After exploring this game on the interactive white board, give the students real Unifix cubes to create their own rhythms! 

There are many more activities available on Phil Tulga's site! Go, explore, and share your favorite Phil Tulga activity!

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