Friday, January 25, 2013

The Journey Begins . . .

Some may call me crazy, but I have decided to attempt my National Boards. I found out in December that a federal subsidy to refund half of the application fee was expiring. Anyone who completes their portfolio by March 31st is still eligible for the subsidy. Baby #2 is due March 29th! I thought long and hard about whether I should attempt this task while in my third trimester. My final decision was made when I realized that I would be even more crazy to expect to have more time for my National Boards when there are two children demanding my attention! I always planned on completing my boards because it would be a significant pay raise. It will count as my Rank I, but my district and state also offer additional salary supplements to National Board Certified teachers. The hard work will definitely be worth it in the end!

I thought about waiting until I was completely finished with my boards before blogging about it, but I think I will keep you posted with tips and wisdom that I discover along the way. I have made one big realization this week regarding the videos. Two of the entries have time limits of 15 minutes. Many of my lessons start on the carpet in front of the Activboard to prepare the concept and lesson material, then we move to the Orff instruments. Although I try to be as efficient as possible, the transition to move to the instruments causes delay in instruction as we often must get extra mallets for students sharing instruments, take off bars to prep the pentatonic scale, etc. You are not allowed to edit the videos submissions, so this was very puzzling if I wanted to include part of the instruction on the carpet and on the instruments. 

Yesterday, I had an epiphany! Before beginning the lesson and before hitting record on the camera, the students chose their instrument they would be playing for the day. We took care of all issues with mallets and removed the appropriate bars. After everything was prepared, we came back to the carpet to begin the taped part of the lesson. The transition to the instruments took 60 seconds or less! 

Now, on to my next challenge . . . finding a way to mute the intercom system and telephone!

If you are also attempting your National Boards, I would love to network! Comment below or you could send me a private message if you are a fan of this blog on Facebook.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Free Online Music Games For Kids

I have revamped my classroom website and a view links may have been lost. I am reposting my collection my music websites just in case any of you have difficulty following the original links. The original post is found  here. 

This site has free printable sheet music for many instruments. This site has info on music, dance, and drama. This site by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra features a few games and coloring pages that teach about music, musicians, and the orchestra! This site features games and information about classical music and instruments!
Dallas Symphony Orchestra Kids eMusicTheory. Music Games from Music Tech Teacher. LOTS of music games and worksheets!
Morton Subotnick's. Games to create your own music! Online music theory flash cards New York Philharmonic Kidzone. Many games about instruments, musicians, composers, and more! Mechanical Metronome from
Sing along with your favorite PBS kids characters! Games on note reading and piano keys Phil Tulga. Integrating music with science, math, and language arts. Lots of games and recipes for homemade instruments. Piano Platypus. Game quizzing piano keys. Lots of fun games! Music and Art activities from your favorite muppets! San Francisco Symphony Kids. Create your own music in the music lab! Note Reading Game from Learn about the string instruments. Squeaky's Recorder Playhouse. Learn to play the recorder! Theta Music Trainer. Challenge your ears with these games! Tuscon Symphony Orchestra Kids. Music and art! Homemade instrument recipes!

Friday, January 4, 2013

110 Free Music Education Apps

I've had the iPad for about 3 months and have downloaded many free music apps. I have organized them into the following folders so that all the music apps can be found on one screen. The folders are shown in the screenshot below:



1) Classical Lite
2) SPCO (Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra)
3) NPR Music
4) Pandora
5) Classical Music For Babies
6) iLuvMozart
7) Classical 1
8) Beethoven Symphonies
9) Classical Masters
10) Mozart Symphonies
11) XmasRADIO

Sound Exploration

12) Falling Stars
13) Soundrop
14) Singing Fingers


15) iBeat
16) Pro Metronome
17) iMetronome
18) Gibson Studio Share (This has a metronome and tuner.)


19) Pitch Pipe Now
20) AccuTune
21) insTuner


 22) I Am Composer. Sing and then see your music notated on a staff.
23) Monster Chorus. Monsters who sing the pitches of a scale.
24) Karaoke HD. Comes with a few free songs with the option to purchase more.
25) Songify. Records your speaking voice and then auto-tunes it into an instant song.
26) Sing Along Christmas Carols Free. Words appear on screen karaoke style.


27) Honey Harmonica
28) Bagpipe. You have to blow on the microphone receiver to play it!
29) Zampona
30) Ocarina 2. You also have to blow on the microphone receiver to play it.
31) WoodwindIA. The English Horn is free; you must purchase the other instruments.
32) Shehnai HD
33) Recorder Master. Play along with your recorder or by touching the screen.


34) Classical Violinist. Violin, Guitar Hero-Style
35) Ukulele. I love how you hold the iPad like a real instrument to play it.
36) Guitar
37) Bass Guitar!
38) Santoor
39) Celtic Harp Lite
40) 12-String Lite
41) WI Orchestra. This is a piano keyboard, but the violin sounds are the only ones that come free.
42) On The Music Path. Videos teaching how to play guitar and other folk strings.


43) iTriangle
44) Congas
45) Bongos
46) iTablas
47) Chakra Chime
48) Slit Drum
49) Washboard
50) Percussion for Kids. A mix of congas, bongos, maracas, wind chimes, and triangle.
51) Awesome Cowbell Free. A selection of 3 different sizes of cowbells.
52) Bottle Xylophone
53) Marimba. The lowest note is an A (I wish it were a C)
54) Sansula Lite Thumb piano
55) Drum Man An aerial view of a drum set.
56) Bottle Music Make music with bottles or wine glasses.
57) Finger Stomp Lite


58) BrassIA. The piccolo trumpet comes free; you may purchase other instruments.
59) TrumpetLiteHD
60) TromboneLite
61) FrHornLiteHD
62) Trumpet+ Lite
63) Vuvuzela Man


(Apps with instruments from multiple familes)

64) Music Instruments by Tidels Free Flashcards with real images of musical instruments.
65) My Musical Friends HD Cartoon versions of the instruments to appeal to younger students.
66) Melody Street An interactive story to introduce the instruments.
67) Mozart Interactive You get to choose which instrument will play next.
68) Kids Musician A preschool app exploring percussion and keyboard instruments.
69) Music Sparkles A glockenspiel and drum set are unlocked for free.
70) Music School For Toddlers. The piano is unlocked free. I like how the note names appear above the keys.


71) MiniPiano One octave, full-size keys.
72) iPiano Lessons Instructional videos about the piano.
73) Piano Free Full 88 keys, adjustable size, with a metronome and songs.
74) Magic Piano Play beautiful piano music by touching lights as they move across the screen.

Playing Piano

75) Music Intervals. Quizzes intervals on treble or bass clef.
76) Music Keys. Quizzes pitch names of piano keys.
77) Music Tool. Shows how to play chords on the piano keyboard.
78) Inversion Invasion A space-themed game improving chord building.
79) Piano Prodigy. Play songs from color-coded solfege.
80) Dust Buster. A game that can be used with the touch pad piano or can use the microphone to pick up the sound of a real piano or keyboard.
81) Pluto Piano. Play songs on a touch piano or by navigating a penguin up and down the staff.
82) Piano Hero. Dual player touch pianos on each side of the iPad. Play the keys as the lights approach the keys.


83) Rhythm Cat HD. Read rhythms and tap the screen.
A previous post on Rhythm Cat can be found at this link.
84) Rhythm Training. Read rhythms and tap the screen. You may also practice at different tempi.
85) S4-RComposer Create beats and loops with electronic percussion sounds.
86) Monkey Drum Play rhythms and let the monkey echo you, or compose your own tunes.
A previous post on Monkey Drum can be found at this link.

Ear Training

87) Pickup Tunes Free Ear training games recognizing intervals and scale degrees.
88) Nail That Note Lite Absolute, melodic, and relative pitch trainer using a piano keyboard.
89) Blob Chorus. Aural game matching pitches.
A previous post on Blob Chorus can be found at this link.
90) Ear Trainer Lite. Practice aural recognition of intervals, chords, and scales.
91) Right Note Lite Ear Trainer assessing intervals, pitch, and melody.
92) Musical Puzzle HD Arrange a song by correctly ordering jigsaw pieces containing short melodic phrases and notation.


93) Sound Prism Explore harmony with lights and patterns on a grid.
94) Harmonizer Explore harmony with lights and patterned shapes.

Memory Games

95) Piano Game. An aural game of Simon challenging your ear training skills.
96) Rhythm Repeat Lite A memory game echoing rhythmic and melodic patterns.
97) Young Music Genius. Consists of several games. One game is memory-style flipping instrument cards over until you find a match. There is also an instrument quiz aural identifying instrument sounds and a composer quiz identifying musical excerpts by listening.


98) Note Brainer. Assess note reading flash-card style. You can customize the game for treble or bass class only.
99) ClefTunes Lite Touch notes on a staff to hear the pitch.
100) Playpad. Touch lines or spaces on the staff to hear their pitch.
101) Penguin Chase. Touch a penguin and navigate him up and down a staff to play a melody, avoiding obstacles. Watch out, the tempo continues to increase!


102) Blues Cats Explore blues music by selecting which instruments you would like to hear.
103) Jazz Cats Explore jazz music by selecting which instruments you would like to hear.
104) Country Cats Explore country western music by selecting which instruments you would like to hear.
105) Spanish Sound HD Explore Spanish music by selecting sound clips.

Sheet Music

106) Sheet Music Direct. A library of scores. Lots of music can be previewed for free or purchased through
107) Tonara Some music is offered for free. The best feature of this app is that it turns the page automatically as it hears you performing the music.
108) MusicStandPad Scan your own sheet music and store it digitally using Dropbox. This app will connects to the Dropbox library to view your music. You may write on the music to take notes and turn the page with just a flick of a finger.
109) Steinway Etude There are many free songs, but you can also purchase more sheet music. But I love the setting that shows you the strings on the inside of the piano while it plays the song selected.

 110) My Note Games

My Note Games. This last app is not in a folder because it could belong to many categories. This features music theory and note reading games you can use with just your fingers on the touch screen, or with your singing voice, or any musical instrument (including recorder).

If you have any other suggestions to add to this list, please comment below.