Amy M. Burns

Elementary Music Technology and Integration

Amy M. Burns has taught PreK-grade 4 general music for over 20 years at Far Hills Country Day School. She has authored 3 books on how to integrate tech into the elementary music classroom. She has presented many sessions on the topic, including 3 keynote addresses in TX, IN, and AU. She is the recipient of the TI:ME Teacher of the Year, NJ Master Music Teacher, Governor’s Leader in Arts Education, and the NJ Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year Awards.

This page is to assist elementary music educators that teach in a 1:1 school with chromebooks

Assessment:

  • Kahoot! - A free gaming assessment tool
    • Uses: 

      Kahoot! is a free assessment tool in the form of a game. Once you create your free account, you can search for numerous music games or create your own. These games can be used to assess the students’ knowledge on their concert music, lyrics, note names, rhythm names, and so much more. You can use Kahoot! as a fun way to assess almost anything you have been teaching in music class. And, the students love it!

      Kahoot! can be used on Chromebooks (kahoot.it turns the Chromebook into an answering device), iOS devices, Android, desktops, etc. It can be used in a 1:world classroom as well as a classroom with limited devices (set the game to group mode). The students do not need email addresses to participate in a Kahoot! game. You can also send a “Kahoot! Challenge” to your students’ devices for them to participate from home by a certain date and time.

  • Nearpod - Nearpod is an interactive classroom tool for teachers to engage students with interactive lessons.
    • Uses: There are ready-to-teach interactive lessons to use immediately in the classroom. You can also easily create lessons in minutes for your next class. Import files (pdf, ppt, jpg) or Google slides and add interactive activities, websites, and videos to keep your students engaged in their learning. Finally, you can synchronize your lessons across all student devices in the classroom and receive real-time feedback and post-session reports on student comprehension.
  • QuizletQuizlet (free+) offers tools for students to make flashcards, practice concepts, play learning games, test their knowledge, collaborate with other students, and more.
  • Socrative - A free formative assessment tool that has a pro version
    • Uses: Socrative works as well and I tend to use it for more formative assessments.

Chrome Music Lab (musiclab.chromeexperiments.com)

  • Rhythm: Built by George Michael Brower. This consists of animated characters playing rhythms in meters of 3, 4, 5, and 6
    • Uses: Use this tool to show meters as well as having students move to the meters. In addition, have a student create a rhythm pattern within in the meter. For older elementary, students can decode the rhythm pattern that was created on screen.
  •  Sound Waves: Built by Mark Lundin. This consists of an exploration and visualization of a sound wave moving through air molecules.
    • Uses: I use this activity to introduce a STEAM unit. I collaborate with the science teacher as we work together on teaching about sound and music. With Sound Waves, I have a student play the keyboard provided in the app and they watch the blue dots move. The blue dots represent air moving through molecules. The higher the pitch, the faster the air moves. When the magnifying class is clicked, a red line will appear that draws the shape of one molecule moving through the air.
  • Kandinsky: Built by Active Theory and inspired by Russian abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky. This app turns anything you draw into sound.

    • Uses: Have the students draw a pattern on paper. This pattern can include shapes and lines. Set a guideline such as two shapes and three lines so that they can perform all of their drawings. Have the students draw their pictures into the app and listen to the results. Ask them if they thought if it would sound the way the Kandinsky app played it. In addition, make the cross-curricular connections with learning about the artist in art class.

  • Song Maker: Built by Google Creative Lab, Use All Five, and Yotam Mann. This app can make simple songs with melody, harmony and rhythm. The songs can be shared via a link or social media, where others can collaborate and add to or change the song. Click the “Settings” button to determine the song’s length, beats per bar, subdivisions, scale (major, minor, pentatonic), tonic, and range.

    • Uses: You can create a melody in the app, like Lucy Locket, and have the students try to identify the melody. Then hand out boomwhackers and have them perform the melody. Song Maker uses the colors that are closely related to boomwhacker colors.

    • You can show a visualization of beat subdivisions by creating a song in a simple, triple meter and having the “Settings” show “Beats per bar 3/Split beats into 1”. Have the students or the teacher create a melody when the notes will appear as dotted half notes. Then go back into the “Settings” and change “Split beats into 3”. The melody now changes and shows the subdivision within each measure.

    • Sharing the Song: When finished, click the “Save” button and the app will generate a link. The students can share this link on your music classroom’s Facebook or Twitter page. You can also copy the embed code to embed in a music classroom webpage. Finally, the students can copy the link and email you the link (if you do not share your email address with your students, consider setting up a gmail account just for students to send you work, ie examplemusicteacherschoolexample@gmail.com), place the link on their Seesaw journal, or place the link on their Google classroom. Finally, share the link with another elementary music classroom and have the students collaborate and comment on each other’s musical work.

 

©2018 amymburns.com

Any info, student examples, pictures, graphics, etc, may be used with permission.