#37: Five Free Tech Tools for the Music Room {and other techie stuff}

Five free tech tools for the music room: Blog post with lots of ideas, from QR codes to Chrome Music Lab

Looking for ways to incorporate technology into your music room? In this blog post, I'm detailing five of my favorite tech tools…and they are all free! If you listen to podcasts, scroll to the bottom of this blog post to listen to the podcast episode.

#1: Rhythm Trainer

This website, which can be found at www.therhythmtrainer.com, is a fun way to practice dictation and audiation. You can choose the rhythms students know, then students listen to an audio sample and dictate it with those rhythms. Want a more difficult challenge? Try “B” mode, which has students looking at a rhythm pattern, then listening to four different patterns and choosing the correct pattern. You can also choose “fast” mode, which plays the samples faster.

This website does use Flash, so it won't work on iPads. If you have Chromebooks, you could use this in small groups or at centers, or you could project with a LCD projector or interactive board and play as a class.

Click here for a blog post which includes a free sub plan using this website!

#2: Plickers

If you're looking for a fun, interactive, and free way to assess your students, you'll love Plickers. This a free website and phone app that allows students to vote on the correct answer with cards. You as the teacher scan the room as the students hold up their answer cards, and the app tells you who's voting and how they are voting! There is a little bit of work up front, as you have to enter in the student names, their class numbers, and the questions you'll be asking, but it's totally worth it! Click here for a more detailed blog post about Plickers.

Only a smart phone is needed to use Plickers; you as the teacher use it to scan.

#3: Chrome Music Lab

This is one of my favorite websites for creating and exploring music! Students can choose from a number of games to make music or explore music, from creating their own rhythmic ostinato, to creating art that produces music, to looking at music on a piano roll.

You could have students exploring in small groups or centers on iPads or Chromebooks, or you could project the website with a LCD projector or interactive board.

#4: Staff Wars

I LOVE this website and app for improving note reading on the treble clef, bass clef, or alto clef staff! (Note: the website is free, but the app is paid.) You can choose what you're working on (lines, spaces, lines and spaces, notes above and below the staff), choose the clef, and then play! Students see a note scrolling on the staff, click the correct letter, and then watch it disappear.

Here is a video tutorial I made about the app:

#5: QR codes

Using QR codes is like a shortcut; it's a great way to get students to a website, a file in Google Drive, etc. You can also give students a definition, and then they scan a QR code to see the musical term that matches. I've also used QR codes for advocacy, by posting them in musical programs and on bulletin boards, to share advocacy facts, student work, etc.

Click here for a more detailed blog post about QR codes. QR codes can be used on iPads (with a free QR reader app, or on a newer iPad or iPhone, with the camera app), and on Chromebooks, with a QR reader extension.

Scan this QR code to check out Chrome Music Lab:

Listen to the podcast episode here:

What are your favorite tech tools? Feel free to comment below, and happy teaching!

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Hi, I'm Aileen

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