There’s a growing list of fantastic online musical “instruments” and games that are a great resource for teachers in the music classroom.  They can be effective when used with students on laptops and desktops, but they also work really well in a one-computer classroom with a large screen or better still, an interactive whiteboard.

Get Creative with Pentatonic Improvisation


  1. Tone Matrix by Andre MichelleAndre Michelle's Tone Matrix
  • Add (or remove) sounds by clicking on a box on the grid
  • Press the spacebar to clear the whole grid and start again
  • Based on the pentatonic scale


  • Turn your computer keyboard into a musical keyboard
  • Play along with your choice of Youtube videos
  • Select your scale type, mode, and root, and have hours of fun!


  1. AudioTool
  • The big brother of the Tone Matrix
  • Add drum patterns, other sounds and change the tempo
  • Produce music online

Online Instruments

The next few online “instruments” are a bit of fun and would work really well with an interactive whiteboard.  Many don’t allow you to record or export your songs, so don’t go composing your masterpiece using these apps unless you’re notating it as you go!  The better ones allow you to play notes using your computer keyboard in addition to clicking on keys or buttons with your mouse.

  1. Drum Machine
  • A loop-based rhythm generator


  1. Drum Kit
  • An online drum sampler


  1. Theremin
  • Play with waveform and different effects
  • You can also loop and record

Online Music Games


9. Incredibox

  • A cappella fun
  • Create your own arrangement using vocal percussion, backing parts and lead vocals


10. Don’t Worry Be Happy game (Bobby McFerrin)

  • Another a cappella “game”
  • Also good for discussing arranging techniques
  • Activate parts in one at a time by dragging the part name across to the white area
  • Notation allows you to follow each part


11. Ball droppings

  • Physics and music combine
  • Draw lines across the screen to make the balls bounce and create different pitches
  • Good for interactive whiteboard


12. NY Phil kids

  • Excellent collection of educational music games for primary and middle school students
  • Create a minuet
  • Match composers or instruments
  • Beat Polly Rhythmic in the percussion showdown
  • Sort instruments into their families
  • Experiment with instrument sounds in the Orchestration Station
  • and more

Online Drum Sequencers


  1. Groove Pizza
  • Uses a circular ‘pizza’ interface to represent rhythmic patterns
  • Create a drum pattern by using the drum grid underneath the ‘pizza’
  • Useful for cross-curricular maths-music lessons because it allows you to view rhythmic patterns as shapes and angles


  1. HTML 5 Drum Machine
  • An online virtual old-school drum machine
  • Build beats, adjust the playback sound, the tempo and set up A/B patterns
  • Download the pattern as a WAV file and then import it into other software


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