15 ways to use a single computer in the music classroom

In episode 4 I talked about 19 different ways you can use just one iPad in music education, and I wanted to follow that up today with some ideas for using a single computer with your students.  I know that some of you don’t have constant access to devices that students can use hands-on which means that a lot of the time you are just working with your own laptop.

Even if you have just one computer, I still think there are some great things you can do.

What’s really helpful though is if you have access to a data projector so that you can easily share your screen with the whole class and because we’re going to be talking about music websites and software, you’ll also need to be able to plug into speakers so that your students can hear everything clearly.

If you don’t have access to a data projector to allow your entire class to see your screen, you might like to try some of these ideas as one rotational activity for students working individually or in groups.  

Resources and links mentioned in this episode

This podcast episode was based on my blog post 15 Ways To Use A Single Computer in the Music Classroom which has some extra written details, plus the links that are below.

Here’s the brief version:

1. Clever music videos on Youtube. See my collection on Pinterest

2. Playposit – make Youtube videos (and other online videos) interactive

3. Learning notes of the staff with the note identification Staff Wars game (download here). You can get all the students involved by printing the score cards here and following the group game instructions.

4. Be a music producer with Incredibox.  For more details, take a look at my Incredibox post.

5. Explore time signatures with the Rhythm game which is part of the Chrome Music Lab.  You can download a free lesson plan here.

6. Introduce sound synthesis with the Chrome Music Lab Oscillator.

7. The Chrome Lab Melody Maker shows pitch and time like a piano roll editor and as a group, students can use it to create a melody.

8. Set a musical timer by using countdown timer on the Class Tools website to encourage a speedy classroom clean-up, or to define a specified time length for an activity.

9. Improvise on the pentatonic scale by using the piano accompaniment on this page as a backing track for student improvisation.

10. Visualise dynamics (or general class noise!) with the Bouncy Balls website and click the “use microphone” option when prompted.

11. Visualise sound with Audacity (free audio recording and editing software)

12. Use Beatlab to make a rhythmic backing as a group.  For more information, see the How To Make A Funky Beat in 30 Seconds post.

13. Rap My Name – students write their own rap to go with a rhythmic backing.  If you’d like a full lesson plan showing you how, take a look at the Rap My Name lesson.

14. Create a class story as a group by using an audio recording/editing program like Audacity (free).

15. Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra – as a group, you could also work through the interactive story and accompanying activities for the Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra on the Carnegie Hall Listening Adventures site.

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Midnight Music Community: special rate for MTT podcast listeners

The Midnight Music Community (MMC) is an online space for music teachers interested in learning more about music technology.  There are online courses, lesson plans and lots of other resources for Chromebooks, iPads, Macs and PCs. Professional development certificates are available for all training undertaken by MMC members and I am in the Community everyday, personally answering questions and offering advice to members.

Access the special rate for podcast listeners here.

Music technology courses for teachers

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