Learning music provides so many benefits for children that extend beyond the music classroom. From maths to language skills, even brain growth, incorporating songs into your lessons across the curriculum can have wide-reaching positive effects.
While investing in multiple instruments is unachievable for many school budgets, luckily there’s so many ways to create, play, and export songs, using only your imagination and versatile edtech.
Here are some of our favourite ways to create songs with the ActivPanel and incorporate music into your lesson plan.
Benefits of music in the classroom
Music and songs have been used as tools for creating super-effective mnemonic devices for eons. But only relatively recently have we started interrogating the power that music seems to have when it comes to memory retention.
Studies have found listening to and performing music reactivates areas of the brain associated with memory, reasoning, speech, emotion, and reward. As an added plus, music is fun! It’s hard to deny the uplifting effect that singing a song can have. It’s a great tool for lifting the engagement and energy levels in your classroom while delivering lesson content.
Apps for making music
There are so many fantastic apps and websites at your fingertips if you want to create music with the ActivPanel. Here are some of our favourites for accessibility and ease of use:
We have been huge fans of Chrome Music Lab for a while now. It’s super accessible; you can find it through your preferred browser on the ActivPanel, no downloads required. Connect multiple devices for collaboration and explore different components of music through its varied tools, called “experiments”.
What we love most about Chrome Music Lab is its ability to not only create music and sound, but also the potential for demonstrating scientific elements like soundwave visualisations in experiments like Spectogram and Voice Spinner.
This is a more traditional song-making app, allowing you to compose music by combining different melodies and rhythms, then adding your recorded vocals. Modify loops and sounds in the editor, add free beats and let your imagination run free!
Another beat-making app, Groovepad is perfect for beginners, with an extensive library of ready-to-use tunes and music elements to get you started.
Autotune your voice with an app that can make melodies out of your lesson recordings. You can choose between different effects that alter the genre, like electro-funk, rap and hip hop, harmonic folk and more. This is perfect for creating music without too much effort, like easy mnemonic devices or fun educational raps.
Incorporating music into your classroom
Now that you’ve learnt how to make music with ease, why not incorporate songs into your lesson plans?
- Using Strings on Chrome Music Lab, show the relationships between long and short strings, then have students make their own instruments for a fun art project.
- Check out this in-depth lesson plan for years 3-8. Using Rhythm on Chrome Music Lab, you and your students can compose rhythms in different meters.
- Have students work in groups to take terms and ideas learnt throughout the week and incorporate them into a song for a fun mnemonic device. Display the lyrics on the panel and the class can sing along.
- Play certain music at different points in the day to signify the end of one activity and the start of another. This is a fun way to establish and reinforce your classroom procedures.
- For older students, why not set up a collaborative playlist that the class can add songs to? You can then play this during appropriate periods such as group work or private study. Kids will appreciate the chance to hear their own music, and the collaborative element gives a sense of class unity and trust.
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